With the bombardment of news about disasters, pandemics, crime, and uncertainty our minds can create an unease, elevating stress and anxiety.
What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. Mindfulness is about being fully connected to the present moment.
Why does mindfulness matter? How often do we catch our minds wondering off during a conversation or activity? We spend worrying about the what ifs of the future, or reliving the past, or stressing out over the little things that we miss many moments of our lives. The key to mindfulness is a non-judgmental awareness that enables us to respond with greater clarity, stability and understanding to life’s stressors, rather than reacting in unhealthy ways.
Research has shown that the benefits of mindfulness meditation increases the ability to cope with chronic pain, develops self-awareness, effective communication skills, and most importantly a non-judgmental awareness that enables us to respond with greater clarity, stability and understanding to life’s stressors, rather than reacting in unhealthy ways. These mindfulness strategies help to build the skills needed to manage stress, build resilience and cope with changes so that we can be fully living in the moment.
What will I learn in this class? The program we are offering teaches both mindfulness meditation practices and mind-body skills to learn stress management and self- awareness skills. The focus in on the practical skills young adults can use to manage their stress, focus their minds and gain perspectives on issues and challenges they may be facing. Mindfulness practices will include focusing on the breath, guided imagery, and movement, and self-compassion. The benefits of these practices include focusing attention to the present moment and calming the mind and body.
When will classes take place? Because of the need for continued self-distancing classes will be held through Zoom Conferencing. An orientation class to review and answer questions will be held Wednesday for 7:00 -7:45. Classes will begin the following week Wednesday, May 27 – June 17, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM for Adults or Caregivers; Thursday, May 28 – June 18, 7:00 – 8:00 PM for Young Adults with Disabilities (Zoom Link will be sent once registered through Unicorn Children’s Foundation)
Iris Neil, MEd., found an interest in meditation and mindfulness through years of practicing yoga. As the Secondary Transition Program Planner in Palm Beach County she saw first-hand how mindfulness strategies that were being implemented in the 18 to 22 programs improved student success and reduced their stress and anxiety levels. In 2016 she completed the training programs to become a qualified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher through the University Of Massachusetts College Of Medicine Center for Mindfulness and the Koru Mindfulness Program for emerging adults. Iris has taught mindfulness strategies at several state and national disability-focused conferences, to middle school through college-age students, and to staff and clients at agencies serving people with disabilities at the local and national level. Iris earned her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education at the University of Florida and Master’s degree in Educational Leadership at the University of North Florida. Her goal is to bring mindfulness-based stress reduction strategies to families of people with disabilities, caregivers, service providers, and people with disabilities.