October Workshops! Learn Mindfulness: Simple Strategies for Everyday Life

A Mindful Walk at the Audubon, Natick, MA Photo by Sofia Reddy

Mindfulness means being here in the moment by using all of your senses. You see, taste, sense, smell and hear everything happening right here, right now. Research shows that a daily mindfulness practice can help you calm down the areas of your brain that activate the “fight, flight or freeze” response. This activation of your sympathetic nervous system is helpful when there is real danger, but it’s not so helpful if it’s an imagined threat. Severe to toxic stress also triggers the stress response. Chronic exposure to severe-toxic stress can impact your immune system and make you more vulnerable to illnesses and chronic health issues such as migraines, digestion problems and muscle tension.

Mindfulness helps strengthen the parts of your brain responsible for executive functions such as, thinking, planning, organizing and problem solving. When your mind and body are calm, you’re better able to manage daily life activities and feel energized rather than depleted by them.

Source: van der Kolk, B. A. (2014). The body keeps the score: Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma. New York, NY, US: Viking

Join me this October for three mindfulness workshops focused on how to lower your stress levels and improve your well-being. Each session will cover a specific category and includes interactive exercises focused on mindful communication and grounding techniques to help you calm down. I’ll share tips and resources for practicing self-care to stop stressing and start flourishing at work and at home. Register for all three sessions and bring a partner to the third session for free.
A52-19 $25/1 session; $40/2 sessions; $60/3 sessions

Sessions take place in Medway, MA and are offered through Medway Community Education at the local high school.

Session 1: Mindful Self-Care – Learn how to prevent burnout at work and in your everyday life. Thursday – 1 session High School Rm. 119-2 October 10 6:30-8:00 pm

Session 2: Mindfulness with Children & Family – Learn how to stop stressing and start connecting. Thursday – 1 session High School Rm. 119-2 October 17 6:30-8:00 pm

Session 3: Mindful Communication – Learn the importance of emotional support in intimate relationships. Thursday – 1 session High School Rm. 119-2 October 24 6:30-8:00 pm

Register Here!

See what others are saying…

I’ve had the privilege of working with Sofia for a number of years. She is a skilled clinician, generous meditation instructor and a genuinely kind human being. She is a shining example of how a meditation practice can change one’s life and enable them to help others in a unique way by sharing that practice.

~Anthony A. Cernera, M.Ed, founder and lead instructor of New Leaf Meditation Project

This workshop helped to add a more involved view of mindfulness, something I can see myself using. 

~Cindy Apgar, Education Professional
Workshop attended – Mindfulness in the classroom: how to reduce stress & promote well-being

Workshop was very helpful. All of your practices would be great to incorporate into the classroom.

~Alexis Spallone, Education Professional
Workshop attended – Mindfulness in the classroom: how to reduce stress & promote well-being

Loved her kind demeanor and helpfulness. Her practice of mindfulness was refreshing. Class discussions were engaging and didn’t feel like someone was speaking at you the entire class.

~Former graduate student, MSW program @USC

Instructor Reddy’s teaching effectiveness would improve even more if she were to teach a mindfulness course. She regularly led the class in mindfulness practices, and now I’m eager to continue the practices in my personal life and hope to one day use them in a professional setting.

~Former graduate student, MSW program @USC

The mindfulness moments are my favorite! Although some people feel uncomfortable I think it’s extremely valuable because I think moving through that discomfort is part of the process to a better state of mind.

~Former graduate student, MSW program @USC

Please note: the information presented on this site is not meant to replace professional healthcare. Always consult with a healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns regarding your health. The views expressed here are solely my opinions and suggestions and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the mental health or educational facilities in which I work.

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Managing stress with mindful eating

Mindful Break @ Muffin House Cafe, Medway, MA
Photo: ~Sofia Reddy

Quote of the Day:

“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.”

~ rashaski · Zen Proverb

Reflection:

One of our major struggles in modern day life is trying to do too much in a short amount of time. Often what is sacrificed is the purely enjoyable experience of a eating a meal slowly, intentionally – with our full attention and awareness. One area that eating becomes another chore on the to do list is at work. When I facilitate self-care workshops I often hear employees saying, “I don’t have time to eat lunch,” “I often run out the door in the morning with a cup of coffee but skip breakfast,” or “my lunch is interrupted by phone calls and colleagues stopping by to make requests.”

Sound familiar?

The problem with skipping meals or rushing through them is that we tend to either under or overeat. Ultimately we are not getting the nutrients we need to maintain our energy levels and our productivity is more drastically compromised. If we give ourselves permission to take 10-15 minutes to enjoy our meal, not only do we end up feeling more satisfied, we have the energy needed to stay focused and accomplish our goals for the day.

Today’s practice:

Today, try eating a mindful breakfast, lunch and dinner, alone or with family, a friend or colleague. For breakfast, get up 10 minutes earlier so you have time to eat something with your full attention and awareness. Savor each bite of your favorite fruit, cereal or other morning meal preference. I can’t leave the house without eggs for breakfast. They pack protein and keep me full throughout the morning. Often we boil eggs and keep them refrigerated, which is a quick meal that is healthy and tasty.

For lunch, turn off the computer and telephone ringer and set your timer for at least 10 minutes. Clear the desk. Or better yet if it’s a nice day out take lunch to a picnic table or bench. Smell the aroma of the food you are about to enjoy. Notice its texture, taste, smell and really savor it. Allow your senses to experience every aspect of this meal.

At dinner, turn off the tv or other electronics. If you live with family make it a rule to turn off electronics and the telephone during dinner. Spend at least 30 minutes together enjoying each other’s company and the meal. Look at each other. Talk to each other. Spend some time in silence too. If you feel moved perhaps say a prayer (or meditate) about feeling thankful to have this food to eat and reflect on how the food got to the table. Think of all the people and processes involved to bring this food here. Savor every minute.

How did your practice go? What did you notice? 

Were there any difficulties, and if so how did you manage them? Do you have any other ideas or questions about this practice? 

Would love to hear from you! Share with us by commenting below or through my Facebook page @Sofiasanctuary

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