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The Role of Mindfulness in Building a Values Based Society: Ola Schenstrom

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The Role of Mindfulness in Building a Values Based Society: Ola Schenstrom

  1. 1. The role of mindfulness in building a values based society Barrett Values Centre - 2014 CTT international conference Sånga –Säby Sweden Dr Ola Schenström
  2. 2. The seven levels of consciousness
  3. 3. The role of mindfulness in building a values based society Who am I? Some characteristics of todays society What is mindfulness? How can mindfulness contribute?
  4. 4. The role of mindfulness in building a values based society Who am I? - Personal - Professional - Non profit - Retreats at Emerald Lake - Mindfulness work and vision of today
  5. 5. The role of mindfulness in building a values based society Non profit work • IPPNW – International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War – Nobel Peace Prize Laureate • Non Violent Communication • Pugwash movement – Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
  6. 6. The role of mindfulness in building a values based society Non violent communication • Observation Observation • Feelings Feelings • Needs Needs • Request Request
  7. 7. The role of mindfulness in building a values based society Background - personal - professional - non profit - work and vision of today
  8. 8. Retreats at Emerald Lake • Soul / Living purpose • Intuition • Mental • Emotional • Physical
  9. 9. The role of mindfulness in building a values based society Vision and work of today • ”Towards a mindful society” (schools, health care, workplaces, leadership, sports…) • Training instructors – 650 by now • Training programs internet/smartphones: stress, anxiety, chronic pain and disease, pregnancy and delivery, support for caregivers • Virtual classroom • Research at 5 universities • Training programs for leaders, workplaces, educators
  10. 10. Some characteristics of todays society • To much to do •An enormous and increasing flow of information •Overload of our senses •Continuous changes •Uncertainty about the future •High speed •Increased level of distractions/divided attention •Increased levels of stress •Less recovery/sleeping disorders increase •Our times are challenging….
  11. 11. What is mindfulness? • Attention • Awareness • Compassion
  12. 12. Mindfulness-present moment awareness M Thoughts Emotions Bodily sensations
  13. 13. Mindful attitudesCuriosity Acceptance Trust Awareness Kindness Ease Patience Flexibility
  14. 14. MINDFULNESS - A HYPE?
  15. 15. Source: Research Studies with Mindfulness in Title or Topic – Web of Knowedge – Initial Research by Mindfulexperience.org, Update: own research Research studies on mindfulness (1994 to 2013) 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 PERHAPS A HYPE – BUT NOT WITHOUT SUBSTANCE
  16. 16. Mindfulness at World Economic Forum Davos • New technology – hyperconnectivity – fast paced lives disconnects us more and more from ourselves • New challenges – require more self awareness and emotional intelligence of leaders to be successfull • New Science – breakthrough in cognition science – especially mindfulness impact on brain plasticity • •
  17. 17. Mindful of what? • The body – posture, movements • Thoughts – mental processes • Feelings and emotions • My assumptions and values • The world around me • Other people
  18. 18. Why mindfulness works Mindfulness training gives us: • More accurate perception of the actual situation. • Reflective awareness of how we respond to situation: accept and regulate our thoughts and emotions. • Greater clarity of personal values that governs our actions. • Greater flexibility in choosing how to respond and act.
  19. 19. Neuroplasticity - the effect of training Right Prefrontal cortex ”negative emotions” : • irritation • anger • sadness • fear • fight or flight • anxiety Left Prefrontal cortex ”positive emotions”: ► joy ► enthusiasm ► interest ► curiosity ► happiness ► calm ► compassion Mindfulness training
  20. 20. Mindfulness I. Focus •Calm •Relaxed •Alert •Emotionably stable II. Open awareness– insight •Seeing new connections– increased creativity •Making wise choices– family, work, health… •Direct your energy •Oversight •Control
  21. 21. How to be mindful • Openness/receptivity – what is going on? • Attitude – how am I responding? • Values – making a choice – what is important/creative? • Attention – where is my focus? • Intention –where am I going?
  22. 22. Two forms of self awareness Referens: Farb et al., Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2007 Conceptual - Dorsomedial PFC - Ventromedial PFC Embodied - IPL - SII - Insula - Lateral PFC
  23. 23. Mindfulness mechanisms • Increased self awareness– thoughts, emotions and sensations •Increased self-control • More consious choices – less ruled by autopilot and impulses • Acceptance of inner experiences – not fighting with them
  24. 24. Reactive or proactive? Stop Observe Accept Respond Reactive Proactive Stimulus Respons Take action Let go Stimulus S R
  25. 25. Mindfulness a prerequisite for building a values based society? We become what we culitvate!
  26. 26. The seven levels of consciousness
  27. 27. Mindfulness a prerequisite for building a values based society? By cultivating: • Attention • Awareness • Compassion
  28. 28. The role of mindfulness in building a values based society • Decreases stress levels • Increases positive emotions • Increases working memory • Open to - and prepared for change • Increases neuroplasticity • Change of habitual patterns • Aware of- and open to difficult experiences • Keeping balance under stress
  29. 29. The role of mindfulness in building a values based society Cultivate mindfulness /compassion through meditation 10-20 minutes/day!
  30. 30. The role of mindfulness in building a values based society Making it a habit: • Stepping out of autopilot • Being aware of and open to difficult emotions • Daily reminders of core values • Reflecting over our core values – -Family -Work Aligned? Balance? -Society
  31. 31. Building a mindful and a values based society What are the arenas? • School/educational system • Workplaces • Leadership development • Sports
  32. 32. Building a mindful and a values based society What are the tools? • Simple • Easy to work with • Specific to target group • Meaningful, interesting and fun
  33. 33. The seven levels of consciousness
  34. 34. The role of mindfulness in building a values based society Living our highest values requires • Attention • Awareness • Compassion = Mindfulness
  35. 35. The role of mindfulness in building a values based society ...and we will allways be imperfect…
  36. 36. Thank you for your attention! Contact: ola@mindfulnesscenter.se www.mindfulnesscenter.se
  37. 37. Discoveries from neuroscience • Full focus thinking – 2-3 hours per day • Small increase in negative stress – cause great losses in creativity • Negative mental states gets stuck – creates tunnel vision ► Good relationships the basis of thinking and achievement
  38. 38. • Mindfulness training increases working memory and attention • Mindfulness training increase ability to regulate emotions • Mindfulness training improves relationships and compassion towards self and others. Neuroplasticity - the effect of training

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