Mindfulness. You've heard about it. It's being mentioned everywhere: HuffPost, New York Times, corporate wellness programs. But what is it and why might we try it?
Mindfulness is simply noticing what we are experiencing in any given moment. It's a way of life that helps us respond to our world with awareness and resourcefulness, kindness and clarity. Instead of reacting impulsively (and then feeling regret), the practices help us thoughtfully respond to life's ups and downs. Because of my research on drug addiction and stress-relieving practices, I know that supporting kids in practicing mindfulness-based skills can have an enormous impact on their ability to self-regulate, and improve concentration and academic performance*. Most importantly, it helps kids cultivate a sense of meaning, purpose, and hope. These are the key values that guide us toward healthy lifestyle habits**.
Mindfulness practices help build awareness of what we are thinking, feeling, and experiencing in our minds, bodies and around us. You can use different strategies for this practice—directing attention to the flow of your breathing, scanning your body for tension and ease, noticing how emotions actually feel in the body, observing your thoughts and physical sensations while conversing with someone, and simply being present without an objective in mind. The opportunities for mindfulness are present everyday, all day. The amazing fact is that these practices can make us more compassionate, intuitive, resourceful, and courageous*.
I feel passionate about sharing mindfulness skills with the youth in my community. This is why I have created Live the Moment.Solutions. My goal is to design, implement, and maintain mindfulness programs utilizing the Mindful Schools Curriculum in our public schools, from K-12. I hope you will join me, either by taking a mindfulness course and practicing daily, or donating to the cause.
Thank you for your support!
*Research on Mindfulness from MindfulSchools.org
**In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction, 2010; The Heroin Summit, University of North Carolina, Asheville, NC, 2016.