WL 477   Soul CareJane Riffe, Extension Specialist, Family and Human Development                          We feel best and...
This way of responding to thoughts and                       Close your eyes and gently guide your attentionfeelings is si...
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Soul care member general


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Soul care member general

  1. 1. WL 477 Soul CareJane Riffe, Extension Specialist, Family and Human Development We feel best and are happiest when we have ways to connect S “ tress is to the spacious anchoring place – or “Soul” – within ourselves and choosing reestablish a sense of balance. Our mental, emotional, and to do battle physical health suffers when we lose that connection while caring with the for others or being busy with projects and life responsibilities. Now.” Mindful acceptance, also known - Eckart Tolle as mindfulness, is a way to enjoy our lives and reduce stress by: ● Paying attention: Learning to notice current thoughts, feelings, or body sensations in a gentle, detached way. ● Accepting without judgment: Learning to view thoughts, feelings, and actions of others with compassion and kindness. Mindfulness means to consciously choose to step back from the busy thinking mind to a quieter place in your mind. Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, a noted Mindfulness teacher and scholar, states: “Mindfulness is not about paying more attention but paying attention more wisely – with the whole mind and heart and senses of the body.” Struggling with Emotions Does Not Work It is a common belief that we should be able to manage or control our thoughts. Scientists know that it is possible only to temporarily block unwanted thoughts and feelings. When efforts to control, avoid, or suppress stressful thoughts don’t work, individuals may experience: ● increased anxiety and depression ● feelings of failure and disappointment at lack of success controlling thoughts ● poorer quality of life due to time and effort spent on control efforts – continued – WVU Extension Service Families and Health Programs
  2. 2. This way of responding to thoughts and Close your eyes and gently guide your attentionfeelings is similar to a Chinese Finger Trap – to the natural rhythm of your breath. Simplythe more you struggle, the more intense and notice the breath as you breathe in . . . andpersistent the thoughts and feelings become. out. There’s no need to make the breath faster or slower, deeper or shallower. Simply noticeMindfulness as an Alternative your breath just as it is. Sense the air passingLet go of struggle by focusing on the present from the chest through your nose and mouth.moment: As you continue to easily follow your breath,● View thoughts and emotions as passing sink into its natural rhythm: the rising and messages similar to something you see, gentle falling of your chest and belly as you hear, taste, or smell. As a reminder, say breathe in and out . . . in and out. or think: “This too shall pass.” If your mind wanders or you feel distracted,● Use unpleasant thoughts, feelings, or body notice that and return your attention to the experiences as “barometers” or signals to rhythm of your breath and the rising and gently shift attention to being aware of falling of your chest and belly. Continue what you are sensing right now. this observation as long as you wish.● Choose to change the “radio station” of your Then, when you’re ready, gradually widen your mind to the senses instead of thinking. attention and gently open your eyes with the intention of bringing this skill of kind observingPractice Mindful Awareness to your experiences throughout the day.CHOOSE to notice. SHIFT to gentle 1. Everyday Routines – Choose some activity acceptance. PRACTICE DAILY tuning that you do each day. Decide that each time into mindful awareness. you do it you will shift to mindful attention for 3 minutes, really noticing with deliberate Mindfulness is learned through practice. awareness as best you can.Cultivate the habit of gently acceptingunpleasant thoughts or feelings. Anything in 2. Befriend Your Thoughts – Make friends your daily life can be an opportunity to practice with your worries and fears. After all, mindful attention. All that is required is a they are part of you! Shift to gentle self- desire to feel more content with your life and acceptance and curiosity when you notice the actions of others and a commitment to your mind producing these thoughts.practice the simple exercises. 3. Use a bell or set an alarm on the half or quarter hour. When it chimes, bring your Change to the Mindfulness attention to the present moment and toChannel your breath moving in and out.● Mindful Eating: See, touch, and smell Make a commitment to practice one act of your food before eating. Then chew slowly. conscious kindness toward yourself every Research studies show that those who chewed day. That’s mindfulness! an almond 40 times reported feeling full with significantly less food. 2009● Mindful Breathing: Take breathing breaks Programs and activities offered by the West Virginia to relax your mind. You might make a tape University Extension Service are available to all persons of the following script if you find it helpful. without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, political beliefs, sexual orientation,Start by getting comfortable in a place where national origin, and marital or family status. Issuedyou’ll be undisturbed for 5 to 10 minutes. Sit in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with theon the floor or in a chair. Sit upright with U.S. Department of Agriculture. Director, Cooperativeyour palms up or down on your lap. Extension Service, West Virginia University. FH09-291 WVU Extension Service Families and Health Programs