Stress is a situation of strain and pressure. It is a wear and tear on the body, mind, and spirit, and a silent killer. Modern life bombards and besieges us with incessant impingements that seek to overwhelm us. This seminar, set in the stunningly visual environment of Glendalough, aims to interlace theory (lectures) with mindfulness practice (presence to self), contemporary evidence-based psychology with ancient practical philosophy.
Physiology of Stress
Psychology of Stress
Stoic Perception & the Practice of Prosoché
Nature, Philosophy Walking, & the Four Stoic Disciplines
Contemplation of the Sage
Dr Stephen J. Costello is a philosopher, logotherapist, and director of the Viktor Frankl Institute of Ireland
Jennifer Caulfield is a psychologist and logotherapist
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Mindfulness Meditation has morphed into mindfulness. It has migrated from monasteries on Himalayan hilltops and entered hospitals, clinics, corporate boardrooms, corridors of power, and schools. Mindfulness meditation and other contemplative practices are being applied by organizations such as Google, Apple, Harvard Business School, the Pentagon, the US House of Representatives, the UK Parliament, and London Transport. We are besieged daily by experiences, encounters, and events, brainwashed by advertising and propaganda, bombarded by impressions and impingement which can overwhelm us. ‘It’s not events that disturb people; it is their judgements concerning them’ (Epictetus, the Stoic philosopher). It’s what the mind does with them that matters. As you think, so you will be. Mindfulness practice increases the feeling of inner freedom, reduces stress, fear, anger, and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, and improves emotional self-regulation, and general well-being. Mindfulness is all about mental attitude, which Viktor Frankl famously described as the ‘last of the human freedoms’. Mindfulness is head space. Substantial research has shown the efficacy of ‘Mindfulness at Work’ programs and the findings are that it improves interpersonal skills, workplace relationships, communication, and performance, as well as employee engagement, leading to greater personal and professional fulfillment. The empathy center in the brain enlarges thus aiding team-building and morale. Long-term mindfulness practice acts as a catalyst for connectivity and creative change in companies, communities, and the wider culture. Mindfulness creates balance, keeps you aligned with yourself – attuned to both inner and outer worlds. It cultivates concentration, and increases focus, awareness, and attention. It lets you see the big picture, to look at life through a long lens. It results in greater insight and energy, clarity and compassion. The average person spends half their time with their mind wandering, usually worrying, mostly about things that don’t happen. The opposite of a mindful mind-set: distraction, day-dreaming, trance, and multi-tasking. Mindfulness enables us to become more centered. It is inner work that has external effects. One of the biggest indicators for success in work and life is whether you have a regular mindfulness practice. All the scientific studies demonstrate that mindfulness is good for business: success in business – solace for the soul.