At the time of its inception, Breathe Mindfulness Centre was one of the first and only venues to offer accredited, evidence-based therapeutic groups in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and mindful self-compassion to the Atlantic provinces.
Breathe Mindfulness Centre was founded with the intention to:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”Viktor Frankl
Mindfulness is about paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment without judgment. It is being fully aware, open and curious to whatever is happening when it is happening, both within and outside ourselves. Simply put, it is about living fully in the here and now.
So often we get caught up in thinking about the way we want things to be, the way things should be and what’s wrong with the way things are. We also get easily lost in fantasies about our lives which include regrets of the past and worries about the future. Each time we are caught up and lost in our thoughts and emotions, we are not truly here in the present which is our life. We often get caught up in unnecessary suffering instead. Through mindfulness, we can become more aware of our thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. This awareness helps us break free of automatic, habitual reactions that are often unhelpful. This allows for the opportunity to respond in ways that are more skillful and focused on what truly matters.
You don’t have to be religious or adhere to a certain set of spiritual beliefs to practice mindfulness. It is simply a natural part of being human. It has been cultivated and practiced both formally and informally for thousands of years in various traditions around the world.
Compassion is a type of empathy towards others when we perceive they are suffering. It is characterized by sensitivity towards the suffering and a desire to alleviate it and includes the qualities of tenderness, comfort, kindness and connection. Self-compassion is when we embody these qualities towards ourselves when we are suffering. Self-Compassion also has a “fiercer” side, which includes the qualities of strength, courage and empowerment that enable us to set boundaries, advocate for ourselves and others and engage in actions that support our health and well-being.
Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who did not receive enough affection in childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are good to themselves. It is a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-denial, or self-absorption. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, forgive ourselves, motivate ourselves with kindness, care for others and be fully human.
Rapidly expanding research clearly demonstrates that self-compassion is related to emotional wellbeing, lower anxiety and depression, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying personal relationships.