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Our tips to help you practice mindfullness

Mindfulness is an ancient meditative practice of Buddhist tradition that was meant to relieve suffering. Since the last years, this meditative practice knows a growing evolution in the Western countries and its benefits, as well on the level of the physical health as mental, are more and more recognized. In Quebec, this practice is present in many hospitals and universities, which illustrates a growing interest in integrating this meditative practice on a daily basis.

 

How can mindfulness help you?

Mindfulness is a form of meditation that involves living the present moment, being in the “here and now”, becoming aware of our emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations without judging with caring attitude and openness.

The practice of mindfulness exerts direct changes to certain areas of the brain that are related, among other things, to attention, memory, and emotions. It guides the person to react differently to certain situations in life. Thus, the practice of mindfulness can allow a better management of the stress and the anxiety, a better management of the pain, an improvement of the cognitive capacities, etc. It therefore contributes to an improvement in the quality of life and well-being.

 

How to integrate mindfulness in your daily life?

Mindfulness can be practiced formally by taking a break by sitting or standing to meditate. It can also be practiced informally by paying attention to each moment of the daily activity carried out. Walking is a good example of informal practice where attention can be directed to external odors, physical sensations through the contact of the feet on the ground, the color of the landscapes, the breath that increases with the rhythm of the steps, etc.

 

The STOP method to get into action

S (stop): Stop for a moment and close your eyes.
T (take a breath): Put a hand on your stomach and take a deep breath.
O (observe): Become aware of the thoughts, emotions and physical sensations that are present. What signs do you feel? What is predominant? Observe what’s going on inside you. If you become distracted, become aware and simply bring your attention back to the present moment without judgment.
P (process): Become aware of the elements acquired following the exercise performed and put them into action.

 

Useful Resources

Guided meditation and exercise of mindfulness:

Reading:

The books of Jon Kabat-Zinn available in librairies

Report:

La pleine conscience à la formation médicale dans les universités (reportage à l’émission Second Regard) (French only)

 

Enjoy meditation!

 

By Marie-Lyse Foucault, occupational therapist at Clinique Physiothérapie Universelle, St-Eustache

 


Références :
  • Faculté de médecine de l’Université de Montréal (2016). La méthode du STOP avec Hugues Cormier, méditation pleine conscience
  • Hölzel, B. K., Lazar, S. W., Gard, T., Schuman-Oliver, Z., Vago, D. R. et Ott, U. (2011). How Does Mindfulness Meditation Work? Proposing Mechanisms of Action From a Conceptual and Neural Perspective. Association for psychological science
  • Kabat-Zinn, J. et Ludwig, D. S. (2008). Mindfulness in Medicine. American Medical Association
  • Kabat-Zinn, J. (2012). Au coeur de la tourmente, la pleine conscience
  • Kabat-Zinn, J. (1992). An outpatient program in behavioral medicine for chronic pain patients based on the practice of mindfulness meditation: Theoretical considerations and preliminary results
  • Zeidan, F., Martucci, K. T., Kraft, R. A., Gordon, N. S., McHaffie, J. G. et Coghill, R.C. (2011). Brain Mechanisms Supporting the Modulation of Pain by Mindfulness Meditation
Keywords :   meditation, mindfulness

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