Friday, September 12, 2014

Why has ISHCMC introduced Mindfulness?

Tree, head shape, neurones mindfulness = brain training, re-

Dear Parents,

I have been told that many parents do not understand what Mindfulness is and why we have introduced it at ISHCMC. I hope that this post helps to explain.

Firstly, our new mission focuses on three key words; Energize, Engage and Empower. Once there is a clear understanding of Mindfulness then it becomes obvious how it helps to build these three aspects of our mission. Mindfulness encourages students to clear their minds and focus on the present which helps them to be more engaged with their learning. A clear and positive mind gives the student more energy for all the activities in school. Finally, Mindfulness practices will give ISHCMC students skills that will empower them to take control of their lives both at school and later at university and in the work place.

This video is a simple yet clear explanation about Mindfulness.

Even if we hadn't created the mission and vision for ISHCMC the benefits of Mindfulness are undisputed. As with so many things in life, the earlier one teaches and ingrains good habits the more useful they will be. We believe that to develop the habits and skills of meditation and yoga at an early age will have substantial benefits for our students in their lives. ISHCMC is not alone in this belief and today many leading businesses and academic institutions are encouraging their employees and stakeholders to be more Mindful because of the undoubted benefits. Research says that the time given over to the practice of Mindfulness is more than compensated for by improved focus and attention by the participants in their daily routines.

The article below outlines a few of these benefits.

Benefits of Mindfulness

Practices for Improving Emotional and Physical Well-Being

Understanding mindfulness

Key Points

  • Practicing mindfulness improves both mental and physical health.
  • Mindfulness involves both concentration (a form of meditation) and acceptance. Deliberately pay attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment.
  • It takes practice to become comfortable with mindfulness techniques. If one method doesn’t work for you, try another.
It’s a busy world. You fold the laundry while keeping one eye on the kids and another on the television. You plan your day while listening to the radio and commuting to work, and then plan your weekend. But in the rush to accomplish necessary tasks, you may find yourself losing your connection with the present moment—missing out on what you’re doing and how you’re feeling. Did you notice whether you felt well-rested this morning or that forsythia is in bloom along your route to work?
Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment—and accepting it without judgment. Mindfulness is now being examined scientifically and has been found to be a key element in happiness.

Ancient roots, modern applications

The cultivation of mindfulness has roots in Buddhism, but most religions include some type of prayer or meditation technique that helps shift your thoughts away from your usual preoccupations toward an appreciation of the moment and a larger perspective on life.
Professor emeritus Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder and former director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, helped to bring the practice of mindfulness meditation into mainstream medicine and demonstrated that practicing mindfulness can bring improvements in both physical and psychological symptoms as well as positive changes in health attitudes and behaviors.

Mindfulness improves well being

  • Increasing your capacity for mindfulness supports many attitudes that contribute to a satisfied life.
  • Being mindful makes it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, helps you become fully engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events.
  • By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past, are less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others.

Mindfulness improves physical health

If greater well-being isn’t enough of an incentive, scientists have discovered the benefits of mindfulness techniques help improve physical health in a number of ways. Mindfulness can:
  • help relieve stress
  • treat heart disease
  • lower blood pressure
  • reduce chronic pain
  • improve sleep
  • alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties

Mindfulness improves mental health

In recent years, psychotherapists have turned to mindfulness meditation as an important element in the treatment of a number of problems, including:
  • depression
  • substance abuse
  • eating disorders
  • couples’ conflicts
  • anxiety disorders
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
Some experts believe that mindfulness works, in part, by helping people to accept their experiences—including painful emotions—rather than react to them with aversion and avoidance.
It’s become increasingly common for mindfulness meditation to be combined with psychotherapy, especially cognitive behavioral therapy. This development makes good sense, since both meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy share the common goal of helping people gain perspective on irrational, maladaptive, and self-defeating thoughts.

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