Photo copyright by Humanities Hub.
Moving away from academics, but onto the equally important topic of mental health which is critical in a time of ever increasing sources of stress for both parents and students. Humanities Hub is pleased to be partnering with Gary Soh, a clinical psychologist by training, who has worked in corporate, education, and medical settings. During his stint with MOE, he provided consultation to schools and parents in the areas of special needs (such as ADHD, dyslexia, autism). He is currently involved in non-profit work to maintain mental wellness in the community. He is a firm believer of Mindfulness based therapies and has witnessed positive transformational changes in his clients. Gary places emphasis on scientific evidenced based programs and provides an eclectic mix of therapies based on his client’s needs.
The following post (targeted at parents) is the first of many helpful articles by Gary on the topic of Mindfulness. Gary will also be giving free Mindfulness workshops for our parents and students in 2017. Watch out for them!
Recall the last angry moment with your child. Even though the conflict may have ended, your mind continues to think about it - the anguish, the anger, the frustration - they will replay for a while….
"Why is he always like that?"
"I am so upset!"
“He is hopeless."
The incident continues to replay in your mind and happens so naturally and unconsciously. Much of the time, these negative thoughts are not even true, but our mind says they are. We may become frustrated, anxious and maybe depressed. More time would be spend on these thoughts rather than on the actual conflict itself.
So, isn’t it scary to learn that much of our lives are spent in the mind instead of reality - seems like the effects are thousand-fold more than the conflict itself - until the thought dies down.
While some people find it easier to brush these thoughts away, others continue to ruminate in them.
Mindfulness is a skill that we can learn to train our minds to choose where to focus our attention on, away from negative thoughts.
Because a thought is a thought - it is not even real.
A thought does not happen, but it consumes and occupies us so much that it affects our sleep, relationships and even physical health.
In Mindfulness, we gain the autonomy to put our minds on things that are meaningful to us - we also become more curious and aware of things happening around us. Instead of spending unproductive energy on our worries, we learn to put our thoughts on things that we want. When we do that, we also enjoy the outcomes better and gain more appreciation.
You appreciate your favourite song better and enjoy it better. You become aware of your posture and improve it. You get more pleasure from eating, and eat lesser - these are but some benefits you could gain from mindful practice.
When students practice Mindfulness, their attention span increases, engaging in lessons become easier. They are able to focus on studying and can spend less time on revision. They learn how to control stress and anxiety and perform better during examinations.
As parents, you are able to care for yourselves better, and have more capacity to take care of your children. You become positive and encouraging. You learn to manage stress and your work life improves. Inevitably, your relationship with your child also improves.
Many people have shared the positive effects of Mindfulness. A mindful way of life is not complicated. With exposure and practice, you can learn to press the pause or stop button when you see your mind becoming stressed, anxious and negative. Instead, you focus on meaningful and productive matters.
Be part of the 'wave' of Mindfulness!
Ever curious why Mindfulness has been described as a ‘wave’? Give us a call/email and tell us what you want to know more about Mindfulness. Our resident psychologist Gary will answer them in the next blog article...