Why You Should Care About Mindfulness
“We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.” -Thich Nhat Hanh
Mindfulness is the self-regulation of attention with an attitude of curiosity, openness, and acceptance (Bishop et al., 2004). It relies on two character strengths that we all have the capacity to express. Anyone can cultivate a mindfulness practice and everyone should. Research on the benefits of mindfulness has exploded. Some of the best professional athletes, like Derek Jeter, and the world’s most successful leaders, like Arianna Huffington, tout a mindfulness practice as one of their “go-to” rituals. Here are 3 reasons you should get on board too…
3 Reasons You Should Practice Mindfulness and a Course to Get You Started:
1. Reduces Stress.
Human beings are wired to be doers; constantly moving from one activity to the next. Mindfulness is about slowing down and connecting with the present moment. It shifts you from a “mode of doing” into a “mode of being”. Studies show that this shift helps you regulate your emotions and feel more relaxed. When you allow yourself to stop, take a breath and check-in with your physical and mental state, you bring an awareness and acceptance to your feelings which leads to a greater sense of calm.
2. Improves Performance.
Mindfulness practices can help sharpen your focus and clear your mind. Phil Jackson, one of the best NBA coaches of all time, is known for integrating mindfulness into his work with the Chicago Bulls and L.A. Lakers. Affably nicknamed the “Zen Master” he used mindfulness techniques to teach his players how to become mentally strong, give one-pointed attention and reset their minds after a setback.
Take a page from his playbook and try a brief mindfulness meditation before your next big event (ie: business presentation, semester exam, golf match) to focus your mind and calm your nerves.
3. Increases Self-Compassion.
Writer Henry James said, “Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” Yet, kindness isn’t only an interpersonal strength to be extended to others. It’s imperative that you also show kindness to yourself. Self-compassion is associated with greater emotional resilience and contributes to your overall well-being because it buffers you from judging yourself too harshly. Mindfulness strategies boost self-compassion by reducing your tendency to focus on negative, critical thoughts and instead allow you to take a more gentle, loving approach to yourself.
Convinced? Want to start integrating mindfulness strategies into your life? We have just the course for you!
Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice- Intensive (MBSP-int) Course
Every year, our spring Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice course sells out and we create a long waiting list for the next session. This year—you asked, we answered! Our first Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice- Intensive course begins August 2.
Learn how to cultivate a mindfulness practice that you can use in your daily life to help you find greater peace, success and happiness. Discover how to use your strengths to connect more deeply to your thoughts and feelings. Find out how mindfulness can open your eyes to more of life’s simple pleasures. Learn more here.
The course leader is VIA’s Education Director, Dr. Ryan Niemiec. Dr. Niemiec was just honored with an induction into the very elite class of Fellows in the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA). This distinction is awarded to individuals who have contributed most significantly to the advancement of knowledge in their field of practice within the domain of positive psychology. Don’t miss this opportunity to work directly with an expert on mindfulness and character strengths!
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Dr. Ryan Niemiec's new book, Character Strengths Interventions, is the epitome of positive psychology: it takes the “backbone” of positive psychology– character strengths – and builds a substantive bridge between the science and practice. Working with client’s (and our own) character strengths boosts well-being, fosters resilience, improves relationships, and creates strong, supportive cultures in our practices, classrooms, and organizations. No matter what kind of practitioner you are, this one-of-a-kind field-guide is a goldmine in science-based applications. You’ll be able to immediately bring the science of well-being into action! Get your copy here.