Sunday, 23 June 2013

Mindful Awareness and Somatic Experiencing

What is Mindful Awareness?
         According to the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC), mindful awareness "can be defined as paying attention to present moment experience with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with what is." Mindfulness invites [one] to stop, breathe, observe, and connect with one's inner experience." One can bring mindfulness into his/her life through activities such as meditation, yoga, nature walks, art, etc. 
        In the last ten years, significant research has shown mindfulness to address health issues such as lower blood pressure and boost the immune system; increase attention and focus, including aid those suffering from ADHD; help with difficult mental states such as anxiety and depression, fostering well-being and less emotional reactivity; and thicken the brain in areas in charge of decision making, emotional flexibility, and empathy.
Understanding Somatic Experiencing 
        Somatic Experiencing is based on research and hands on development by Dr. Levine. It is a body-awareness approach to trauma that relies on the realization that human beings have an innate ability to overcome the effects of trauma. Somatic Experiencing is often used on combat veterans, rape victims, post surgical traumas, victims of violence, war and other natural disasters. The goal of Somatic Experiencing is to restore self-regulation, return a sense of aliveness, relaxation and wholeness to those that have been through a traumatic experience. (Information provided by 

Mindfulness on YouTube
Mindfulness meditation teacher and author Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn speaks about mindfulness and his book "Coming to Our Senses"

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