Vajra Blue

Mindfulness and Compassion. Understanding trauma in young people.


Mindfulness: Using beginner’s mind to stay open to new ideas.

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There are known knowns. These are things that we know we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. These are things that we don’t know we don’t know. Donald Rumsfeld.

This quote is a wonderful example of using words to hide meaning. At the height of the first Gulf War it was made as part of an explanation for some error on behalf of the coalition forces.

On the surface it sounds like so much spin-doctor nonsense, however, it is in fact a very profound remark and goes beyond the usual level of awareness that many of us have about the workings of our own minds.

Donald Rumsfeld should perhaps have also gone on to mention unknown knowns. This may sound daft, but there are many things that we know at a non-conscious level, and of which we are not consciously aware, that have a significant influence on both our behaviour and well being.

These are the things we have programmed our brains to do without always allowing them into awareness. They are the subroutines that help us to react rapidly, but not always wisely, to events that occur in both in our internal and external worlds.

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Mindfulness: creating space for thought.

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Mindfulness helps us to become aware of our feelings and thoughts, and how they influence both our behaviour and our perception of the world.

The practice can help us to uncover the thinking errors and traps that our minds can fall into, unless we are alert.

It is important to be aware of these thinking traps in order to allow mindfulness to fully develop.

Mindfulness meditation also help us to become more aware of these thinking errors.

When we are able to identify them, it means that they become less frequent, this then enables our level of mindfulness to increase.

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Research Finds Meditation More Useful Than Sleep Education in Fighting Insomnia

In our sleep deprived times another good argument to teach mindfulness as widely as possible.
Start them young.

http://www.zmescience.com/medicine/alternative-medicine-medicine/meditation-insomnia-sleep-17022015/?utm_content=bufferb62d2&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Sandy


Mindfulness and the future

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Many of us live by other peoples’ rules. We are afraid to act in our own interests.  There is always someone else whose opinion carries more weight than our own. Someone to whom we have given the power to veto the decisions that we make about how we live our lives. These are often internalised figures from our past.

We wait for the right moment to act; when we have the right job, when we have enough money, when we meet Mr or Ms Right.  If we retrain for a different job it might be years before we are ready, so we choose not to. We decide to stay with the status quo and miss out on opportunities to have a richer life.

Where our future is are concerned we have to act, otherwise we will be at the mercy of everything else that is happening. As the Nike advertisement said “Just do it.”

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Shedding light on PTSD and Depression

A slightly different take on being PTSD from mindus101

mindus101

photo credit: pixgood.com

I have associated PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) with war veterans whose lives are disrupted by horrendous memories of war, or with people who have suffered equally disturbing violations like rape, shooting sprees, natural disasters, devastating accidents, physical abuse, among other traumatic experiences.

Although I have my share of undesired memories of experiences, I truly did not expect to be diagnosed, as I recently did, as having PTSD.

PTSD is defined as a “disruption in the systematic functioning of the body due to mental or emotional strain following a deeply disturbing or traumatic experience”.

Back in October of last year I found myself “back on the couch”,  feeling somewhat defeated but determined to “figure out” why, after “all the work” I have done on healing, I still found myself, at times, feeling stuck and overwhelmed by bouts of anxiety and depression.

This was my first visit with Dr. Davis, although…

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Mindful living for young people

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Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different, enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t) James Baraz

The benefits of mindfulness in adults are being well researched, and the available evidence about this practice shows many positive benefits across several domains of human functioning.  Research into the benefits for young people has lagged behind the work in adults but is starting to demonstrate very similar effects.

Several studies which have used brain scans and other neuroscientific assessments, have demonstrated both structural and functional changes in the brain following mindfulness practice. These changes are directly related to improvements in both the clarity of our thinking as well as our awareness and control over our feelings.

This means that we can act out of what is happening in the present moment rather than allowing past events and scripts to dictate our current choices and behaviours.

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