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Being Human: Cultivating Mindfulness and Compassion for Daily Living

  • Kathleen NeenanEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Mindfulness practises are useful in allowing us a way to connect with ourselves, while developing an awareness of our physical self which can be a useful way of telling us what is going on in our life. Mindfulness can also enable us to be more connected with people around us and the environment in which we find ourselves.

The mindfulness and compassion practices presented will allow us to develop awareness, which will facilitate us to notice our experiences, patterns and habits. This increased awareness allows us to make choices of where we can focus our attention. The ability to stand back and see situations from a different perspective gives us the chance to choose how we react or respond to situations. It also gives us space to realise that we may be contributing to our distress and discomfort by how we react to situations.

The body may be used as an anchor for our mindfulness practice, for example, using the breath or soles of the feet while walking. The availability of these tools can help facilitate a daily mindfulness practice which can help lower stress and enhance daily living if practiced regularly. Daily meditation can become a ritual like bathing or brushing our teeth. Mindfulness can allow us to feel a greater connection with ourselves and with experiences in our bodies and our minds.

These mindfulness practices can be carried out with an attitude of kindness and gentleness which can bring us peace and clarity when we are in difficult situations and in relationships with others. These tools may also enable us to enhance our joy, compassion, peace, gratitude and forgiveness.

Neuroscientists have published thousands of papers over the last two decades showing the benefits of mindfulness and compassion practises. They have described how positive epigenetic and brain changes can happen even after eight hours of mindful loving-kindness training.

Keywords

Mindfulness Compassion Spirituality 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Nursing and MidwiferyTrinity CollegeDublinIreland

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