CMC Speaks: ‘Mindfulness or Mindlessness: Why Does it Matter?’
If you go
What: “Mindfulness or Mindlessness: Why Does it Matter in Today’s Busy World?” presented by Kim Bundy-Fazioli, part of CMC Speaks
When: 7-9 p.m. Thursday, March 12
Where: Eileen and Paul Finkel Auditorium, Colorado Mountain College, 107 Denison Placer Road, Breckenridge
Cost: Free and open to the public
More information: Call Heidi Kunzek at (970) 453-6757, ext. 2614, or visit cmcspeaks.com
There are many traditions and meditation practices that advocate the concept of mindfulness — the idea of taking a step back to examine your feelings from a place disconnected from emotion in order to quiet your mind and better live in the moment.
On Thursday, March 12, Kim Bundy-Fazioli, founder of Mindfulness Matters Institute in Summit County, will lead an interactive, experiential presentation on one pillar of this tradition, mindfulness-based stress reduction, a program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.
Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, nonjudgmentally,” and Bundy-Fazioli said she plans to build on that definition to provide participants with real-life applications to help them better cast aside the stressors and anxieties of life and live in the present.
“It’s not only about learning about sensations, learning about your thoughts, learning about your emotions — it’s learning to train your mind,” she said. “Our mind has a mind of its own. It can go off and think these things. It worries, it ruminates; it fears the future. We think our thoughts are facts and that can create more stress, more discomfort.”
The more we get lost in our own heads, the more we’re unable to be in the moment, Bundy-Fazioli said. Kabat-Zinn’s training systematically begins to help people refocus their minds to be aware of what it is to be in the moment, instead of getting wrapped up and swept away by these “stories” we tell ourselves.
“It begins to let you understand that you can step back and say, ‘I feel sad right now, I feel anxious right now,’ and it doesn’t have to sweep you down the river,” she said.
BENEFITS OF MINDFULNESS
Bundy-Fazioli said the research on the benefits of mindfulness has grown from a handful of studies in 1976, a few years before Kabat-Zinn founded his Stress Reduction Clinic, to more than 600 research articles and controlled, clinical studies today. The research has propelled this “mindfulness movement” into the spotlight by documenting techniques that can improve memory, focus and attention, as well as improve overall health and well-being.
“The American Institute of Stress found that in 2014, 77 percent of the U.S. population experienced physical symptoms related to stress and 73 percent experienced psychological symptoms,” Bundy-Fazioli said. “I talk about stress, but the training and even that definition, underneath all of that is how we perceive each moment, and often stress can really cloud how we feel things.”
In her presentation, Bundy-Fazioli will guide the audience in their understanding of mindfulness and share some basic techniques that can help to still the mind, improve focus and be more present for friends, family and colleagues. Bundy-Fazioli said she hopes people walk away with four things:
• Understanding the concept of mindfulness based on the mindfulness-based stress reduction program developed by Kabat-Zinn, as well as current research on the impacts of living a more mindful life;
• The definition of mindlessness and how it differs from mindfulness;
• Two formal practices to learn to be more mindful in the moment; and
• Two informal practices to implement each day so that mindfulness becomes a part of your daily routine.
“I think what I believe is that we each create our own suffering in our heads and our bodies, and if there are a couple of tools that alleviate that suffering, that experience of stress, of anxiety, that would be wonderful if they can walk away with one or two ideas for how to live less stressed and more mindfully, being in the moment,” she said.
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