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Mindfulness: Hollywood Takes Notice

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Since Jon Kabat-Zinn appeared on Bill Moyers in 1993, research on the applications of mindfulness has soared exponentially. If you’ve been following this blog you’re highly aware of that already. His Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program has splintered off into Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for depressive relapse, Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) for addiction, Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP), MB-EAT for eating disorders and many more.

After the research became clear, corporations starting coming out of the woodwork interested in the applications of mindfulness for stress, productivity and reducing healthcare costs. Every year now it seems that Google, Facebook, Intel, Twitter and many more take part in the Wisdom 2.0 conferences, curious about how to integrate this into their work environments. Emindful.com has a 12-week live online program that has clear evidence of reducing stress in the workplace, increasing productivity and reducing healthcare costs. Mindful Schools, CALM for Teens, among others are bringing it into the school systems and now Apps for the various Smartphones are abundant.

But you know something has hit mainstream when Hollywood takes notice. In a new film by Paul Harrison, appropriately titled “The Mindfulness Movie,” we see leaders come together such as Rick Hanson, Dan Siegel, Mark Williams, Dan Millman, Kristin Neff, Jeffrey Schwartz, and so many others (including myself) to weave together important mindful insights about what it means to us and where it is all going.

Here’s a short clip to see what I mean:


The New Science of Smiling (It’s More Powerful than You Think)

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Smiling is something almost all of us could do a bit more often. Past science shows that smiling – especially the kind of smile that involves the muscles around the eyes – creates a specific type of brain activation that’s connected to being in a happy mood. More recent research shows that even adopting this kind of smile, known as a “Duchenne smile” leads to lower heart rate levels and quicker recovery from stressful activities. Resilience and positive brain activity are maybe good reasons to grin a bit more in our lives, but there’s even a better reason.

The following video will show you exactly what that is.


What’s in a Mindful Moment?

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Over 10 years ago I had a realization that we walk through life often times unaware of all the sacred moments that are there. I was curious whether we could become more aware of these moments as they were happening and also were they possible to cultivate? After conducting a national research study I found that not only can we train ourselves to be more aware of them and we can also cultivate meaningful moments. Not only that it’s associated with stress reduction and increased well-being, but all the interviews pointed to a common theme of feeling more connected to life.

What is sacred in life is right in front of us and we often time don’t realize it until it’s passed. We’re “too busy” in our own heads to see it.

The other day I was at a Mindful Self-Compassion training with Christopher Germer, PhD and Kristin Neff, PhD where they showed this video which reconnected me to the sacred in everyday life.

Now I’m going to share it with you.


Keep Your Great Great Grandchildren in Mind

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

stripesIt’s not our fault; blame it on the evolutionary impulse of our brains. We’re wired toward routine and because of that we often walk around asleep concerned about what is immediately in front of us. I was talking with a friend recently who has been jolted out of the matrix of life’s daily routine and into a space of awareness of human potential. He sat me down at his house and read me the following poem by poet/activist Drew Dellinger:

“It’s 3:23 in the morning

And I’m awake

Because my great great grandchildren

Ask me in dreams


The Pitfalls of Trying to Be a Mindful Person

Monday, July 15th, 2013

coffeeThere’s an inherent trap in trying to become a mindful person. Any moment that you are acting mindlessly you fall into the category of deficiency. You are less than what you are trying to be and this leads to some form of suffering. It reminds of a quote by Walter Landor that said, “As soon as you want to be happier, you are no longer happy.” There’s a more optimal way to view living mindfully.


3 Key Mindfulness Practices for Calm, Self-Compassion and Happiness

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

flowersWhen it comes to mindfulness, there are a number of great short practices that help us be more present to our lives. In this post I’m going to reveal three key mindfulness practices that can help us pause, break out of auto-pilot, step into emotional freedom and even open up to a source of connection that is ultimately healing to ourselves and the world. Plus, I’ll reveal a new practice that people are starting to love.

I know it sounds lofty, but give them a shot and let your experience be the teacher.


A Quick Exercise to Calm Your Brain

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

womanmeditatingRIGHT NOW, practice;

Breathing in:

                I calm my brain.

Breathing out:

                I feel the gift of my body that is here.

                          ~ Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler

It happens to all of us.

Our brains are wired to get caught up in the routine of everyday life. It seems like the older we get, the more responsibilities we have and the easier it is to practice that continuous fractured attention that we’ve all become so accustomed to.

The joke goes:


4 Steps to a Shaping a Wiser Brain

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

artistotle thoughts

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” ~ Aristotle

I’m not so sure I agree with you Aristotle. There are plenty of educated people who have trouble entertaining thoughts without accepting them. In any intense emotional state we become strict believers of the thoughts we think. If you’re depressed, educated or not, you often accept the thought that things are hopeless. When you’re anxious, educated or not, you believe that catastrophe is around the corner.  It may be more accurate to say, “It is the mark of a wise mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

But what helps us shape a wiser brain?


Wherever You Go, ‘Here’ You Are

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

womanonrooftop

“Jon Kabat-Zinn wrote a wonderful book, Wherever You Go, There You Are, but perhaps it’s more accurate to say, ‘Wherever you go, here you are.’

At any given moment, whether you’re waiting at a stop light, waiting for a plane to take off, in line for a movie ticket, or getting ready to present at a meeting, here you are.

The truth is you’re never anywhere but here.

When we learn to embrace the hereness, all things come into place.”

~ Excerpt from Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler

All modes of suffering including anxiety, depression, trauma reactions and addictive behaviors arise from the brain’s very simple strategy of trying to get away from here.

If we can learn how to be okay with being here, a lot of the cycling of suffering will cease to exist.


A Time-Tested Organic Medicine for Stress, Anxiety and Depression

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Everyone has tough days and for some the days seem to be a never ending string of murkiness. All of our mental afflictions, stress, anxiety, depression, addictive urges and trauma responses are experienced as contractions in the body. An antidote to this would naturally be opening the body up and that is one among many reasons why yoga can be helpful. But to take it one step further, laughter opens our bodies up, vibrates core areas where the stuck energy resides while simultaneously igniting resiliency centers of the brain.

Do yourself a favor, simply watch this 3-minute video and see what you notice:


 
Books and CDs by Dr. Elisha Goldstein:
Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler: Quick Exercises to Calm Your Mind
The Now Effect: How This Moment Can Change The Rest of Your Life

A Mindfulness-Based
Stress Reduction Workbook Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety and Depression
 

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