Mindfulness, a method that helps determine focus and priorities and enables easier and faster focusing on the present moment, has existed in the world for 40 years. It is recognized and effective, and as of this year it is also part of the regular school programs in the UK. We practice in several Mindfulness centers.
Original article by: Jelena Jovanović – City Magazine
The team of the Novi Sad organization ShiftMindful consists of Vesna Laković and Andre van Kempen. Vesna explains that the method they practice is a very powerful practice of attention training.
“By training attention with the help of mindfulness, we learn how to be present here and now. By focusing on internal and external experiences without judgment, we learn to accept those experiences without trying to change, suppress, or stop them. This practice is powerful because it helps us learn how to stop in our excessive thoughts, worries, thoughts about the past, the future and everything that distracts us from our immediate experience in the present, and causes stress and unpleasant feelings. “
Mindfulness translated from English means – full consciousness. The popularization of this method in the last century is due to Dr. John Kabat Zin, who in the late eighties in America designed and implemented the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program.
Interestingly, the mindfulness method has become part of the regular program at 370 schools in the UK this year. Mindfulness trainings are part of the program for improving the mental health of young people, and children work with experts to learn relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, and many other methods that help them understand their emotions and learn to deal with them.
ShiftMindful organizes individual training (one on one) and various programs intended for organizations focused on leaders and teams. Interactive and experiential workshops are organized in the premises in Novi Sad, the topics of which concern decision-making and goal setting, interpersonal relations, development of resilience…
Mindfulness training participants are people of various needs who want to work on their personal development. Vesna Laković says that in our hectic, fast and superficial time, people turn to attention training for various reasons – to work on better control of stress, unpleasant feelings, reduction of impulsive reactions… People complain of excessive self-criticism and perfectionism, many want to learn how they can more easily relax and enjoy life.
According to Vesna, there are many other positive developments. Better self-understanding also affects better relationships with others, and this is visible both on a private and business level. Practicing mindfulness techniques also improves productivity, attention and concentration. Self-pacing skills are also being developed, and many young parents state that these skills help them a lot in their relationships with their children.
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Vesna Laković states that, in addition to the Shiftmindful program, she also works within the Mindfulness Center Novi Sad, where she organizes training, workshops, programs for children, youth, and adults.
“My work is based on individual and group mindfulness training for those interested in almost all ages, which we could also call mindfulness coaching. We work with adults according to the John Kabata Zina MBSR program (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program), and with children, teenagers, and young people according to the program of the Dutch author Elina Snel – Mindfulness Matters. Meetings are designed to be experiential, with lots of exercises, reflections, conversations, group work, in pairs, or individually. With children, of course, that includes a lot of games, movements, stories… “