Neuroscientists around the globe are exploring the links between our brains, minds, bodies, each other and our environment. They are rapidly gaining knowledge and insight into how the things we do each day either build our resilience or deplete our physical and mental capacity and well-being.
They have found that how much exercise we do, how we engage with our thoughts, the sequence and timing of the things that we do, and the approach we bring to each task, directly affects our efficacy and our well-being.
Their research has determined that our bodies and brains are wired for our survival, we are continuously ‘on guard’- scanning the environment for potential threats to our survival, and we react to threats instantaneously and unconsciously.
Unfortunately, there are times in our lives when this unconscious survival instinct tips us into actions that are reactive, inappropriate, unprofessional and potentially harmful to ourselves and/or others.
While our contemporary lives are not filled with sabre tooth tigers, they do seem to be filled with ‘paper tigers’ that regularly trigger us into unconscious reactive responses (distress). In addition, we have so many different ways in which we can engage in new and challenging activities that many of us can unconsciously become ‘workaholics’ and ‘adrenalin junkies’ (eustress).
Both chronic distress and chronic eustress ‘burn us out’. Neither are activities we would consciously choose to engage in for extended periods of time, if we were aware of the impact they have on our health, creativity and well-being.
Amongst other things MINDFULLY WORKING programs are designed to build your awareness of, and capacity to choose your response rather than unconsciously react to both eustress and distress.
Recent findings in neurogenesis and neuroplasticity show that we can retrain our minds towards a sense of safety, rest and recovery and enhance our resilience, creativity and insight, by learning to be mindful.
Psychiatrist Dan Seigel MD has identified that being mindful can provide us with the resourcefulness that can help us do our life’s calling by regulating our bodies, attuning us to others, establishing emotional balance, calming fear, creating a pause before acting, building insight and empathy, being moral in our thinking and our actions, and having more access to intuition.
According to Seigel, mindfulness practices contribute to creating an integrated state of being – noting that when a system becomes integrated, it is optimally flexible, adaptive, coherent, energised and stable. With integration, he says, we are open to possibilities, we are primed for intuition and insight, and we experience the harmonious flow of a receptive state where we feel attuned with others, and ourselves.
Mindfulness meditation and mindfulness practices have been developed and refined over 2500 years. They are an inherent part of the Buddhist culture and have been respectfully integrated into all our contemporary secular programs.
“…a life can suddenly chance on its hidden rhythm, find a flow it never knew…”
John O’Donoghue 2001