I am very excited that Compass Point is offering groups that will be using mindfulness to reduce stress and improve overall physical and mental health.
Mindfulness is a bit of buzzword at the moment. It may have popped up on your social media or at your job. What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is the art of being fully present, fully aware, and fully engaged in this moment without judgment. Mindfulness allows you to reduce the stress hormone cortisol which allows your body to function in a healthier way.
So why would you want to learn how to do that? Mindfulness has been around for thousands of years but it is only in the last 60 years that scientists have really studied it in depth. What they discovered was astonishing and will be taught in the class. In short mindfulness has been researched and found to be helpful with improving:
Please note that Mindfulness does not replace your current medical and mental health treatment but rather enhances it. It gives you the tools to get the most out of your treatment.
We tend to look at the mind and body as separate but Mindfulness is a holistic practice that embraces the interconnected whole. If you struggle with any of the above issues, I expect you have noticed how when you are stressed your health is more difficult to manage and vice versa. If you want to find ways to better manage this cycle this group could be for you.
The group will meet weekly for 9 weeks and include a time of teaching and a time of practicing techniques. There is daily homework that is essential to getting the most out of the group.
Interested in signing up? Please give the front office a call at 513-939-0300 to ask about the next available start date.
What attendees had to say about MBSR
How Does Meditation Help?
Meditation is the practice of concentrating your focus on something to help you become more aware of yourself in the present moment.
It's used to help with stress relief, relaxation, and to help you grow spiritually or personally.
People with or without tremendous stress or documented illness can benefit from the practice of meditation. Meditation can benefit the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical aspects of your life.
Physical Benefits of Meditation
Most of the time, meditation is associated with spirituality or mental focus, but mediation can also have significant physical benefits as well.
Meditation has been shown to help with pain management. Research suggests that practicing meditation reduces pain but does not work on the opioid receptors in the brain which could have far-reaching implications for non-addictive pain management techniques.
In 2013, a study was published indicating meditation and mindfulness practices can help to reduce blood pressure and may be effective as a supplement to medicine or as a treatment for high blood pressure.
Heart and respiratory rates have been shown to be lower and remain lower in people who practice meditation. Surgical patients sometimes find that meditation helps them to heal faster after surgery because when anxiety is lessened, the body has less stress response to the healing process.
If inflammation is an issue, meditation could help as well. A study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison indicated that meditation can change genes at a cellular level causing inflammation to be reduced. Digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome have been alleviated somewhat by the practice of meditation.
The controlled breathing associated with meditation can help to relieve symptoms associated with asthma which helps to increase the quality of life of people with the disease.
Some research has indicated that people who meditate have increased immune function and stronger immune systems. Ladies who suffer from premenstrual or menopausal symptoms could find that participating in meditation practices helps to relieve their symptoms.
Mental Benefits of Meditation
Meditation can increase focus, the capacity for learning, and the ability to remember. Increased focus means that your mind stays on task and thoughts of non-related things stay off your mind.
With increased focus comes less stress and the ability to complete mundane tasks with more efficiency. Problem solving and decision making skills can be improved through practicing meditation.
Meditation causes activity in the brain to increase in areas that relate to problem-solving, memory, and learning. This activity increase can lead to an increased ability to learn new things.
A study by a researcher from the Wake Forest School of Medicine found that mindful meditation increased what is known as visuospatial memory. Visuospatial memory and processing is what helps us recognize things by sight, process visual information, and visually remember things.
Emotional and Psychological Benefits of Meditation
Most of us think of stress relief and reduced anxiety when we think of meditation. There are other psychological and emotional benefits of meditation as well.
Insomniacs could find that meditating before bedtime results in falling asleep easier and experiencing more sound sleep. In fact, meditation at any time of the day can result in improved sleep habits.
Meditation has been shown to reduce symptoms of both anxiety and depression even when the person had no previous diagnosis of a disorder. Those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can benefit from adding meditation to their treatment plan. Meditation in combination with other treatments has been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms associated with PTSD.
Self-awareness, self-esteem, and creativity are all boosted by the practice of meditation. Addiction treatment programs have begun to recognize the benefits of mindful meditation and have started to use the practice as a portion of their treatment plans.
Continued anger can have an adverse effect on other body systems, so using meditation and mindfulness techniques to help reduce the anger response can potentially help more than psychological well-being.
Social and Spiritual Benefits of Meditation
Sometimes feelings of loneliness can hit even when we're surrounded by other people. Studies indicate that regular meditation, whether done alone or with a group, can help to alleviate that feeling of loneliness.
When positive social emotions increase, the result can be decreased social isolation. A study done on the practice of metta meditation found that participants experienced exactly that - a decrease in social isolation along with an increase in their positive social emotions. Metta practice has also been linked to increased empathy which allows for a deeper connection with other people and more positive personal relationships. Those who practice compassion meditation tend to be more generous and compassionate when dealing with other people.
Some scientists believe that practicing Transcendental Meditation can help people who struggle with emotional eating resist the urge to eat mindlessly which has both social and physical benefits.
As mediation increases self-awareness and inner peace, it benefits us on a spiritual level regardless of our personal belief system.
Meditation is more than sitting still and staring into the void of space. It’s learning to focus attention in an effort to be more aware of yourself in the present moment.
Practicing meditation has the potential to lead to a more calm, relaxed, and healthy life. The advantages extend beyond stress relief to physical, emotional, psychological, and mental benefits.
Mindfulness has become a bit of a buzzword over the last few years. But just what does being mindful mean and how does it work?
In this guide, you'll learn why being mindful matters and how to practice the art of mindfulness. You'll discover how you can enjoy the rewards of being mindful by integrating it into your everyday life.We’ll also run through five quick mindfulness trainings you can practice at home.
Jump To Section.
1. How Does Mindfulness Work?
1.1. Mindfulness Definition
1.2. What Mindfulness Is Not
1.3. The Art Of Mindfulness
1.4. What Is The Difference Between Mindfulness And Meditation?
2. Why Mindfulness Is Important
2.1. How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2.2. Why Mindfulness Matters
2.3. Benefits Of Being Present
2.4. Mindfulness In The Workplace
2.5. Stress Reduction And Relaxation
3. How Does Mindfulness Work Scientifically?
3.1. Managing Stress
3.2. Pain Relief
4. Five Mindfulness Trainings
4.1. One Minute Mindfulness Exercise
4.2. The 5 4 3 2 1 Exercise
4.3. Gratitude Exercise
4.4. Five Senses Exercise
4.5. The Self-Compassion Mindfulness Exercise
5. Mindfulness Tools
6. How To Practice Mindfulness In Everyday Life
6.1. How To Cultivate Mindfulness
6.2. Examples Of Mindfulness In Action
6.3. Developing Your Mindfulness Skills
6.4. Practicing Mindfulness On The Go
7. Faqs About Mindfulness.
7.1. What Is The Difference Between Concentrative Meditation And Mindfulness Meditation?
7.2. What Is Dispositional Mindfulness?
Interested in learning more about mindfulness hands on with one of our Compass Point Clinicians? Charity Chaney offers her Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction to Improve Medical Outcomes. You can learn more about this group by clicking the "learn more" link below
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction to Improve Medical Outcomes
$240 Private Pay // Meets weekly for 9 weeks + a one day 7 hour intensive ( 25 hours total) // Saturdays 10a-12pm // Fairfield Office
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction has been used around the world to improve medical outcomes for people with chronic health conditions. The mind of the client is often underutilized in treatment of health concerns. There is a powerful capacity in the mind of the client to improve their own health, if given the right tools. This group seeks to teach clients what those tools are and how to use them. It is not a replacement for other medical and mental health treatments but rather an adjunct to use alongside your current treatment plan. The group will focus on using four mindful practices to improve overall health. Instructors will seek to coordinate with other providers to ensure the best possible outcomes.
If no start date is listed below, or the date listed is passed, please register and we will give you a call to get the process started for the next group!
The practice of mindfulness dates back thousands of years to Eastern religion, where mindfulness and meditation have been demonstrated over these millennia to help people live in the present and be present in their own bodies. This state of mindfulness means minimizing drifting thoughts into the mind about the past and the future, where the study and practice of mindful breathing is essential. These practices are especially beneficial for people experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition that causes sleep issues.
Until recently, it was thought that sleep deprivation can only be the cause of mental health conditions over time. Recent research now however shows that it can be the other way around, that mental health conditions can actually cause sleep deprivation, where sleep issues are more prevalent with people who already have mental health issues. Research shows that through the practice of mindfulness, sleep quality can be improved for those who experience sleep disturbance due to mental illness like depression, anxiety, ADHD, and bipolar disorder.
More and more research is showing how mental health conditions can actually impact sleep. Harvard Medical School says that “chronic sleep problems affect 50% to 80% of patients in a typical psychiatric practice, compared with 10% to 18% of adults in the general U.S. population.” According to NAMI, sleep problems can be a sign of an impending illness like bipolar disorder, and certain mental health conditions can be worsened by lack of sleep. NAMI says that more than one half of insomnia cases are related to depression, anxiety, or psychological stress. OCD, PTSD, ADHD, Schizophrenia, as well as substance abuse disorders are also each specifically associated with poor sleep. Both Harvard Medical School and NAMI recommend relaxation techniques, including deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation to increase mindfulness. This mindfulness exercises reduce anxiety and help people feel aware and present in their bodies so they can sleep.
There are a number of benefits to such relaxation techniques used to achieve mindfulness that aids sleep. Mindfulness and meditation help in three major ways with regard to sleep problems that can be caused by mental illness:
In combination with the relaxation techniques that NAMI and Harvard Medical School recommends to limit the effects on sleep caused by mental health conditions, consider your overall bedroom environment and how it contributes to mindfulness and serenity. Consider your sleep space as well, where you invest in the right bedding and mattress for you. Once your sleep space and environment are ideal, focus on one or more specific meditation techniques to practice before bed. It may take time for meditation to work, so be patient with yourself and remember that self compassion isn’t selfish!
To learn more about mindfulness and the positive effects it can have on your body, join our Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Group. The group will meet weekly for 9 weeks and include a time of teaching and a time of practicing techniques. There is daily homework that is essential to getting the most out of the group.
Cost: $240 Private Pay
Meets weekly in Fairfield for 9 weeks from 4-6pm
Each group is 2 hours long, There is also an 7 hour session between weeks 5 and 6 for a total of 25 hours
Presenter: Charity Chaney
If you’re like many people, you spend a good deal of energy and time beating yourself up! You may frequently engage in an internal monologue about how lame it was for you to have said something or how you’re not successful enough, or not good looking enough. This toxic internal self-speak merely adds to your troubles. Self-compassion, on the other hand, helps us build resilience to difficulties that have the potential to sink us into a state of self-defeat. When we make mistakes or experience a rough day, having self-compassion allows us to get back in the game and try again, rather than being swallowed by a self-centered swamp of self-pity.
What Exactly Is Self-Compassion?
Self-compassion is the antidote to self-deprecation. Sadly, many people put themselves down with self-loathing comments. In the movie Annie Hall, Woody Allen plays a character named Alvy who says, “I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member.” Some people think putting themselves down is cool, funny or charming. In Self Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind, renowned self-compassion advocate, psychologist, professor and speaker, Kristin Neff, Ph.D., promotes a very different message. Neff explains that self-compassion is a must in today’s day and age. She states that it is very different from selfishness. Neff says self-compassion is comprised of three distinct ingredients: mindfulness, empathy and connection.
By now, you have likely heard the word Mindfulness a few hundred times. It is quite the buzzword these days! But what exactly does it mean to be mindful and how does mindfulness relate to self-compassion? Mindfulness means being aware of what is. It does not require changing anything. Rather, mindfulness means paying attention to or drawing our awareness to our own thoughts, feelings, reactions, emotions or surroundings, in the moment. Sounds simple, right? Well, not so much because we often go through life reacting without thinking. Have you ever driven to work and then wondered how you got there or not remembered anything about the drive itself? Often, we ruminate about something that occurred in the past or worry about something that could occur in the future, so much that we have little awareness of what is occurring right here and now, in front of us. Mindfulness draws us in to notice and become more aware of what is--a requirement of having self-compassion. You cannot have self-compassion if you are not mindful of what is.
The second ingredient of self-compassion is empathy. When we have self-compassion, we treat ourselves with the same empathy that we would a good friend. Why must we be quick to forgive our friends when they make an honest mistake but we hold ourselves to such high demands that we cannot do the same for ourselves? We are only human, after all. We pride ourselves on being empathetic to others’ needs, treating others with kindness and love, just as we should. Yet, at the same time, when it comes to how we treat ourselves, we are downright relentless. What would happen if we gave ourselves the same sort of empathy that we provide so freely to others? How might that change the way we operate in our daily lives? I believe we would feel calmer, cared for, happier and more peaceful.
Neff describes the third and final ingredient of self-compassion as connection or connectedness to others. When we notice our connection with others and appreciate that we’re all human and “we’re all in this together,” it makes facing life’s challenges more tolerable. Conversely, when we believe that we are the only ones in the world with a particular difficulty, we become self-absorbed, we isolate ourselves further, and we pity ourselves. In effect, we become more selfish and self-centered. Whereas, when we feel a connection with those around us, we have confidence that everything will turn out ok—that others face this difficulty too and if we can’t tackle it by ourselves, we know people who have already faced a similar challenge who can help us.
Take Care of Yourself So You Can Take Care of Others
I attended a workshop about a year ago led by Neff who instructed participants to think of the video that airlines show passengers before taking flight on an airplane. The video instructs you to first place an oxygen mask on your own face before helping others with their oxygen masks because if you cannot breathe, you cannot possibly help anyone else. Similarly, when we practice self-compassion, we are better equipped to help those around us. Without adequate self-compassion, we sink into self-absorption, making it more difficult to support others.
This is the distinction between self-compassion and selfishness. It is with mindfulness, empathy toward ourselves, and the recognition that we are all in this thing called life together, that we can practice self-compassion, and more effectively help ourselves and each other. This recipe can be difficult to follow but if you keep at it, the end result can bring you more satisfaction in life.
Compass Point is now offering free weekly zen meditation. On Wednesday mornings from 10:00 am to 10:20 am. We have a brief introduction to the style of meditation followed by a 15-20 minute meditation sitting practice. After, we spend a few minutes discussing the experience. A small amount of time that makes a big impact! Walk ins are welcome, however we recommend coming about 10 minutes before meditation starts.
Below is an article from Alyx Beresford on the benefits of practicing weekly zen meditation shared from her blog, your mental restoration.
Formal Zen meditation is the type that I practice and encourage my friends, family, clients, etc to practice also. Notice I said practice…yes, sitting upright and still requires PRACTICE! The basic components are:
You can really meditate whenever your want, where-ever you want, with whoever you want. I recommend group meditation in the beginning…think about how much you cognitively know about exercising and eating healthy vs what you actually do in your day-to-day life…? I find that group meditation holds you accountable and achieves better results just as group exercise does! Most major cities have group meditations or a zen center to provide this structure.