WHAT IS MINDFULNESS PRACTICE?
Main Health Benefits: Reduced Stress with Increased Happiness
Buddha was asked : ’What have you gained from meditation’?
He replied ‘It’s not what I have gained, let me tell you what I have lost; anger, anxiety, depression, insecurity, fear of old age and death’.
Sympton Reduction - reduced stress, anxiety with increased life quality
Biological Markers - positive changes in cortisol levels affecting the immune system
Neuorplasticity - the brain's ability to change in response to life circumstances and learning
MINDFULNESS – FORMAL AND INFORMAL
There are two ways of practising mindfulness; the formal way and the informal way.
Formal mindfulness is better known as meditation. It involves following established practices taking time out of your day to be still and silent, to focus on your breath, to be aware of sounds, senses, thoughts and feelings. It can also involve totally clearing the mind.
Informal mindfulness requires no conventions. It simply means bringing mindful awareness to everyday life, to daily activities such as eating, walking, driving and housework. Informal mindfulness is also part of your interactions with other people, at work, at home and in your social life.
People have been practising mindfulness for thousands of years. It is stated it originated from ancient Buddhist, Hindu, Chinese and Tao Te Ching philosophies. However, some may suggest that it has its roots in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. To give an idea of dates; Buddhism was founded around 400-500 BC by Siddhartha Gautama who was referred to as the Buddha. My feeling is that I am just grateful for all those who have practised before us from all corners of the world, inviting this practice into my life to bring calm into the chaos.
'The role of such mindfulness practices is to keep the mind properly grounded in the present moment, decreasing reactivity to what happens in the moment. It is a way of relating to all experience - positive, negative and neutral - such that overall levels of suffering are reduced and a sense of wellbeing is increased' (Germet & Fulton, 2005).
Today there are a variety of definitions within the Eastern and Western approaches. We are indebted to Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn for bringing the benefits of mindful practice to the West through his Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programme (based on a type of Buddhist meditation called Vipassana). Dr Kabat-Zinn defined it as 'paying attention with purpose, non-judgemental and while in the present moment' (Kabat-Zinn, 1994, 2005).
Over the years, I personally have benefited physically and mentally from mindfulness by:
making time for 'non-doing' allowing me to be still enough to tap into my 'inner voice'
living my experiences in a non-judgemental way, accepting as it is, letting go of my need to 'control'
bringing moment to moment awareness to my physical body, thoughts, feelings and emotions
What I have learned is that Life happens all around us; sometimes we can select what we experience and other times the experiences are a natural part of life. Either way, mindfulness practice has supported me to recognise the difference if I only honour myself enough by giving time to do mindfulness/meditation practice. Mindfulness is a way of life, a choice of behaviour and thinking.
WHAT IS THE UNIVERSAL LAW OF ATTRACTION (LOA)
Main Health Benefit: Learn to listen to your Inner Coach, not your Inner Critic
In accordance with the Law of Attraction, you attract into your life those things, circumstances and conditions that correspond with the nature of your dominant, habitual thoughts and beliefs, both conscious and subconscious. The basic premise of the LOA is that like energy attracts like energy. The belief is that as we came from ‘source energy’ in order to attract what we want, we have to resonate with the energy of the Universe’s vibration by feeling, thinking and visualising our wants/purpose in life. However, taking specific action is always needed.
As our focus is on LOA the more general lesson is that being positive, proactive and loving attracts more of the same into your life. Meanwhile pessimism, fear and lethargy will lead to a more negative experience in all aspects of life. By working to live more positively even just today, you’re already using the LOA to create a better existence.
There are however 12 spiritual Laws of the Universe which are a network of interconnected spiritual laws that can impact on every aspect of your life. These laws can be used to assist in Law of Attraction work.
WHAT IS NATURE THERAPY
Main Health Benefit: Boost your immune system with relaxed mind and body.
Nature Therapy can also be known as forest bathing, forest being or Japanese Shinrin-Yoku and describes the practice that combines a range of exercises and tasks in an outdoor environment. Garden therapy, horticultural therapy or ocean therapy may be viewed as forms of nature therapy.
Many studies show diminished stress, reduced blood pressure and positive effects on the immune system.