What are mindfulness and heartfulness, and why are they helpful?
You may be wondering what are mindfulness and heartfulness, two terms you will hear frequently in this discipline. The Mindful Schools program used by Calgary Mindfulness establishes two forms of training as the foundation for teaching other methods of stress management, emotion regulation and interpersonal skills. These are:
The Development of Mindfulness
The development of mindfulness, a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, emotions, sensations and surrounding environment.
The Development of Heartfulness
The intentional nurturing of positive mind states such as kindness and compassion.
These two disciplines of mindfulness and heartfulness improve our ability to manage a number of significant psychological challenges associated with stress, including:
- Overwhelm. The sense that life – and particularly your own thoughts and emotions – is “too much to handle.”
- Busyness. The sense that “doing things” has become compulsive – that you are constantly avoiding simply being with yourself.
- Rumination. The sense that the same stressful thought patterns “loop” over and over again in your mind without being questioned.
- Dissociation. The sense that you maintain unhealthy psychological distance from life and from people, cut off from your own and other people’s emotions.
- Narcissism. The sense that life is about defending, protecting and enhancing one’s sense of self. A lack of empathy for the needs of others and an inability to take compassionate action.
Not Just Coping. Thriving.
In discussing how mindfulness and heartfulness practice addresses stress and other problems in education, we don’t want to lose sight of the fact that mindfulness can take us beyond the terrain of managing symptoms to a place where we are developing the deepest capacities of the human mind.
We can think of the process as a spectrum:
The cultivation of mindfulness and heartfulness nourish the best potential for human flourishing, where we are able to access deep states of ease, peace and compassion. This is the aim of teaching mindfulness and heartfulness in education and to other groups of adults and children.
This article was excerpted from Mindful Schools‘ website.