Mindfulness and self-compassion

I would love to know if you are a PWS who has successfully incorporated a mindfulness meditation practice into your daily routine and what benefits you have experienced as a result of meditation? Or, is there another “mindful” activity (e.g., running, swimming, painting) that you’ve begun that has helped you cultivate self-compassion/self-love and possibly reduce your fear around stuttering? As a future speech-language pathologist, I would love to emphasize to clients who stutter the importance of incorporating activities that encourage mindfulness and self-compassion into everyday life, especially after reading “The Struggle with Stuttering and within Ourselves: Growing from Conflict to Compassion” by Dan Hudock, Chad Yates, Tiffani Kittilstved, William Lane, Casey Ulrich, Kristen Leucuta.

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Mindfulness and self-compassion — 5 Comments

  1. Dear Sara,

    HI! It is great to hear from you and your question about adding Mindfulness to our practice is a great one. Let me introduce myself first, I’m Scott. I’ve been practicing mindfulness andmixed with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) on myself since 2007 and doing with people who stutter since 2008 along with training SLPs, parents, and PWS about mindfulness and ACT since about 2011. I also started a Podcast with my presentation partner Jaime Michise called ACT To LIVE (acttolive.com) which is free. I say all of this because this topic of mindfulness applied to people with communication disorders (and people who stutter) has been talked about more and more, which is great. I can send you more information on it, if you like (my email is spalasik@uakron.edu).

    To answer your question about me personally, there are many ways to be mindful from a guided breathing mindfulness activity (you can find these on apps like INSIGHT TIMER for one) to just being present as you eat or while doing a specific task. Mindfulness can be an activity that you perform while you exercise, while you listen to a friend, while you are gardening, cooking, or doing your favorite hobby. It is a practice of doing something in a particular way, doing it on purpose, and doing it without judgment (Kabet – Zen, 2004). So really any behavior can be performed in a mindful way. For me, I started out with breathing meditations. I moved that into mindful running. Then it evolved into my daily routines like eating, brushing my teeth, washing dishes, listening to clients, family,and friends. The theory is, if we can practice being present and decreasing judgmental thoughts, we can help our mind pause to make adjustments as life is happening right now. It is seen as a reset when we might feel stressed and tense. It serves many purposes for me. It is not a cure for anxiety, stress, or stuttering. However, it can (for me and those I’ve worked with) be a foundation to shifting to a mindset that is honest and living life in the present moment and the way a person wants to.

    Like EVERYTHING, it is a practice. If you learn a new hobby, instrument, sport, take a new class, or anything, it takes practice. To help ourselves and our minds, we CAN practice. I can honestly say that since practicing mindfulness I have seen major changes in my confidence, willingness to try new things, a decrease in the need to change feared words due to stuttering, willingness to engage in speaking situations I would have historically avoided, willingness to NOT react but to pause and think what is best for me, and I have found I can talk with a passion and enjoy communication more and more because I’m slowly dropping the excess judgments that have kept me from being in the moment.

    We all have important things to say. For me, mindfulness has helped me shift my mind to believe that my words as as important as anyone’s words. It has also allowed me to really hear what others are saying and being able to step back and see that everyone has opinions.

    I could talk all day on this (and I just did 6 hours of experiential presentations on Monday at a State Conference about Mindfulness and ACT, so I’m still running on that adrenaline rush from sharing that information with people).

    Again, feel free to contact me with more questions and check out THE ACT TO LIVE PODCAST if you want to hear some more information on applying mindfulness, ACT and other psychological practices to daily life.

    Have a great day!
    With compassion and kindness,
    Scott

  2. Hi Scott,

    Thank you so much for your personal story and for sharing such valuable information and resources. I look forward to listening to your podcast, implementing more mindfulness into my own life, and sharing with others! I also appreciate the way you framed how mindfulness has changed your outlook and look forward to sharing with my future clients (and caregivers!) how mindfulness may help them.

    thanks again,
    Sara

    • Sara,
      HI! You are welcome! Keep being you and striving to be the person you wish to be! Keep asking questions and having conversations. It is a natural way of learning.

      Thank you again for reaching out there!
      With compassion and kindness,
      Scott

  3. Hi Sara!

    I don`t practice mindfulness exercises regularly but I have adopted some routines into my life to work to keep my mind so I could call them as my own way of mindfulness. I take care of the basic needs of human being such as right amount of sleep, healthy eating, enough of hydration, exercise (It can be whatever you enjoy doing, I practice sometimes running and yoga), fresh air and trying not to overachieve too many things at once in order to reduce the stress of daily routines. Also having some me time and doing things I enjoy helps to reduce the stress. Of course different ways might work for different people but I also know others who benefit from these simple ways of calming your mind.

    Have a good day and I hope you can get some useful tips out of this!
    – Satu

  4. Mindfulness, together with NLP, has been the tools that helped me to move forward and face tough situations, not just when it comes to stuttering, but also in other aspects of life. The being in the moment part, and the meditation part has been very helpful, but the SOAL, Stop-Observe-Accept or Act-Let go, does magic on all situations. From dealing with speaking situations to waiting in the grocery store queue. 🙂 I explained it in my keynote speech for the world congress (http://stutteringiscool.com/podcast/therapy-smorgasbord/). SOAL makes me stop dwelling about the what-ifs and instead observing the challenge in a non-judgemental way, deal with it (or not) and move on. I also mention it in many replies to SLP students replying to my paper http://isad.isastutter.org/isad-2019/papers-presented-by/stories-and-experiences-with-stuttering-by-pws/sure-i-stutter-what-are-you-good-at-anita-blom/
    Thanks for working with Mindfulness.

    Anita
    Sure I stutter. What are you good at?

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