Mindfulness at Margreteholm Mindfulness Manor

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We love mindfulness at the Mindfulness Manor and we like to incorporate it into most aspects of what we do. At our retreats we gently introduce you to mindfulness through a number of exercises and we give you some suggestions on how to use it in your everyday life. We made a little Q&A for those who wish to learn a bit more about what mindfulness is and how it works.
  

Why is everybody talking about mindfulness?

You might have noticed that mindfulness has been popping up more and more over the past decade. In the airport bookshops you can find little handbooks of mindfulness, in several countries mindfulness has been implemented into schools and hospitals and even in prisons! In most places you can find mindfulness courses to help you deal with the stresses of daily life, mindfulness apps are booming online, there is mindfulness training for chronic pain and illnesses, depression, drug-abuse, mindfulness parenting and the list continues. This might sound too good to be true but the fact is that there is a reason for mindfulness being the buzzword of our western world. The evidence is clear from numerous evidence-based studies; it actually works.

Observing the ever changing lake outside the Manor is like observing the mind; sometimes calm, other times restless and wild.

Observing the ever changing lake outside the Manor is like observing the mind; sometimes calm, other times restless and wild.

Why does mindfulness work?

The way mindfulness works is through daily mindfulness exercises and meditations, conducted over a period of 2 months minimum, which slowly cause significant changes in important regions of the brain. Hippocampus, an area responsible for learning, storage of memories and regulations of emotions increases in size, and so does the temporoparietal junction, an area responsible for empathy and compassion. Mindfulness on the other hand decreases the brain volume in Amygdala, an area which is partly responsible for our stress response.

What are the principle of mindfulness?

Mindfulness is, as expressed by its founder Jon Kabat-Zinn, the awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. In the beginning it comes down to a series of mind-body exercises, but like all habits it can slowly become a way of living, and this is when it really can change your life in a positive way. When practiced over a longer period of time it will transform the way you think and the way you see yourself and the world. The 9 attitudes of mindfulness involve acceptance of what is in the moment, without judging it as either good or bad. This does not only apply to situations but also your emotions, thoughts and bodily sensations. It means seeing the world and every situation with a beginners mind, with trust and patience. It also means being able to let go of what leaves you or what no longer serves you and to live a life of non-striving in gratitude and generosity. With these attitudes our experience is that you get a mental robustness and flexibility in whatever life might bring you.