“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
What is a Mindfulness?
Mindfulness means maintaining a present-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, or surrounding environment. It also includes the intentional nurturing of positive states of mind such as kindness and compassion.
Three components of mindfulness:
Why is this important?
Attentional stability is the cornerstone of learning. Yet, this is a skill we truly don’t teach and just expect our children to know, and then expect that we as adults are therefore adept at it. Stress, anxiety, and high emotion can compromise parts of the brain responsible for executive function (learning/processing) and leads to reactivity.
The purpose of mindfulness is to develop a deeper sense of self-awareness. Mindfulness helps cultivate the ability to recognize and navigate emotions (emotional balance), the ability to have more of a say in our actions (impulse control), and the ability for more attention/focus.
So, WHAT are we paying attention to?
Anything in our experience. Anything that comes through our senses: vision, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling. Mindfulness is a form of attention or awareness training that can be applied in any activity throughout the day. For instance, noticing our feet on the floor, our hands resting on our thighs, the sounds of the birds in the yard. Things that happen in our inner world with our thoughts and emotions. Paying attention to the mechanics of how this inner world operates, THIS IS MINDFULNESS!
How is this beneficial for us and our children?
Mindfulness helps to create space and replace impulsive reactions with thoughtful responses.
STIMULUS ⇨ REACTION
STIMULUS ⇨ MINDFULNESS ⇨ RESPONSE
Therefore, Mindfulness allows executive function to come back “online” via the two “Wings of Mindfulness:"
1) Attention, 2) Emotion Regulation.