Mindfulness

The attitudinal foundation of mindfulness practice

1 Non-judging A focus on judging experience locks in a particular reaction, categorises "good" and "bad" experiences. Just watch.
2 Patience A form of wisdom. Being completely open to each moment.
3 A beginner's mind Our thinking and beliefs about what we "know" get in the ways of seeing things as they really are. Each moment is unique and contains unique possibilities.
4 Trust ...in oneself, not discounting feelings but listening to them.
5 Non-striving Non-doing. Just pay attention to what is happening.
6 Acceptance Seeing things as they are in the present instead of wasting energy on anger and denial. "It is just the way it is".
7 Letting go Some thoughts/experiences are elevated or suppressed eg letting go to go to sleep.

Mindfulness in problem-solving

If a problem seems insoluble, we tend to create more problems rather than penetrating through the problem. This leads to frustration, inadequacy, insecurity. Other problems become harder to solve > we create our own boundaries > we produce reasons for not challenging the boundaries, not taking risks, rather than exploring the possibilities and our relationship to the problem - wholeness and connectedness.

"My problem" avoids us seeing "the problem", putting ourselves at the centre.

Stress

How you see things and how you handle them determine how much stress you will experience

 

Dealing with stress with mindfulness

Self-efficacy Your confidence in your ability to grow influences your ability to grow
  • It increases when you have experiences of succeeding at something you feel is important.
  • It increases if you are inspired by examples of what others are able to do.
Hardiness Psychological or Stress hardiness

Shows high levels of

  • Control - belief in being able to to exert an influence on the surroundings
  • Commitment - engaging and giving the best effort
  • Challenge - change is a natural part of life
A sense of coherence
  • Comprehensability - making sense of internal/external experience
  • Manageability - have the resources to meet the demands of stress
  • Meaningfulness - the demands are challenges which have meaning and to which one is able to commit
Loving yourself
Expressing emotions
versus Helplessness
Suppressing anger

Type A and type B personalities

Type B personality Type A personality
  • Easy going
  • Not driven by time
  • Free from irritability, hostility and aggressiveness
  • Contemplative
  • Driven by time, urgency, competitiveness
  • Hurried and abrupt

Higher BP/MI/cancer and other health problems

Unstressed affiliation/motivation Power/motivation syndrome
  • Strong need for affiliation
  • Drawn to being with people
  • Want to be liked in their own right
  • Free to express their need for affiliation
  • Strong need for power in relationships
  • Aggressive, argumentative, competitive
  • Increase status and prestige
  • Frustrated/stressed by events that challenge their power

Links between physical health and mindfulness

  • Optimistic perspective
  • Ability to "let go" of a bad event
  • There are always choices to be made in life, can exercise control
  • Laugh at themselves
  • Sense of coherence
  • A conviction that life is comprehensible, manageable and meaningful
  • Spirit of engagement in life
  • Taking on challenges
  • Confidence to make change that is important
  • Valuing relationships
  • Sense of good-ness
  • Thoughts and beliefs that foster hopelessness and helplessness
  • A sense of loss of control
  • Hostility/cynicism towards others
  • Lack of enthusiasm and commitment about life's challenges
  • Inability to express feelings
  • Social isolation

Connectedness

Disconnection

Attention > connection > self regulation > sense of order > ease (vs. dis-ease)

eg eating/overeating

Change

The one thing you can be sure of!

Why do some people find change more difficult?

Even "happy" changes are stressful - getting married, moving house. These changes lead to dis-stress depending on what they mean to you and how you adapt to them.

Adaptability innovations index (Kaplan)

Stress reactivity

Stress responsiveness

Freeing up time

Some hints for reducing work stress


Reference: Full catastrophe living - Jon Kabat-Zinn