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Brisbane ACT Centre
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Feeling like the character on the right? Try a little "5 senses noticing" to Get Out of your Mind and Into your Life! Come learn how at BAC :-)
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And, holding that last post lightly - here's "someone" having stepped (or squeezed?) forward - into growth - onward, upward and ticketed! :)
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Inspiring challenge. Thanks for the link, Robbie Ellett! Brisbane ACT Centre helping humans step forward since 2014 ;)
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Lovely, wise words. Take perspective...
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Sometimes it's a friend, sometimes a trusted therapist...
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NB from a pragmatic, flexible point of view, you can:
1 focus on a cup of coffee, some music, riding your bike, your feet... 
2 think about work, family, money, stuff from your past...
3 freak out!!!
4 return to step one :)
In "just noticing" the breath is a traditional anchor, but anything 5 senses works. ACT brings "whatever works" to the mindfulness mix - check out Brisbane ACT Centre for super simple skills coaching!
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Mindful Tips for Exam Success
He who has a why… can bear almost any how.  ~ Fredrick Nietzsche

Exams are such a stressful time for so many people.  Here are some tips that can be applied to any exam, and are particularly relevant to those preparing to sit exams.

1.     Be mindful of task/exam when anxiety arises.  Remember that the vast majority of people feel anxious going into an exam.  Research by Rich and Woolever found most students have similar levels of anxiety.  Those who focused on their self-doubts and other factors that were not relevant to the current exam did worse than those who could acknowledge their anxiety and refocus on the exam at hand.

2.     Be mindful of your breath as an anchor.  While waiting to turn over your exam paper, this is an ideal opportunity to anchor yourself in your breath and your breathing.  From a mindfulness perspective as long as we are breathing there is more right with us than wrong with us regardless of whatever your mind might be telling you to the contrary.  In times of high anxiety, mindfulness expert Thich Nhat Hanh suggests it can be particularly useful to say the phrases “breathing in, I am aware that I am breathing in” as you breath in and “breathing out, I am aware that I am breathing out” as you breath out to help maintain your focus on your breathing. 

3.     Be mindful of time.  Time management can be an issue for many students.  Being mindful of time throughout your exam can greatly improve your chances of answering all questions and giving you the best chance of getting the best grade for you.  Psychologically many of us need contextual cues, or reminders, to help us to remember to be mindful of time.  One way to do this is to put a little “T” in a circle, or a figure of a clock in the margins of your answer booklet in light pencil.  This will serve as a prompt to be mindful of your time.

4.     Be mindful of “towards” and “away” moves.  It can be very easy to get caught up in judgments such as “right” or “wrong” and “good” or “bad” both during and/or after exams.  In the recent book The ACT Matrix, I shared that when we get caught up in these judgments we often find it more difficult to get back to the moment, and what matters.  It can be more helpful to acknowledge when we have moved “away” from what is helpful and important to the exam at hand and then channel our time and attention to moving back “towards” where we want to be.  This can really minimise the time we spend beating ourselves up and maximise the time we spend focusing on the exams that are important to us.

5.     Be mindful of your thoughts.  Many of us get hooked by unhelpful thoughts at exam time.  It can be useful to identify the prominent themes that arise for you in an exam, for example “exam failure”, “not enough” or “need to repeat”.  Then when these themes arise in the exam you can simply note “oh, there’s the exam failure/not enough story again” and refocus on your exam or study for your next exam.  Research has shown that this is more helpful than ignoring or getting caught up in the thoughts. 

6.      Be mindful of compassion.  Often we are our own worst critics.  In times of high stress we can find it difficult to see the bigger picture.  It can be useful to connect to what your older, wiser, kinder 21 year old self would say to you to help you during your exam. 

7.     Be mindful of what matters.  It is very tempting to get completely hooked in the points system and what you “have to do”.  Meanwhile you can lose sight of why you are doing the leaving cert in the first place.  Many psychologists, such as Dr. Steve Hayes creator of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), have found that if we focus on the reason behind why we are doing what we are doing that greatly helps us to make more moves towards what is important and to get more enjoyment as we do this. 

BLOG ORIGINALLY FROM...
Aisling Curtin is a Counselling Psychologist with the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI), founder of ACT Now Ireland and WTF Psychology Blogger.  You can find out more about her and the workshops she regularly gives in Ireland and internationally at www.actnowireland.com, www.wtfpsych.blogspot.ie, find ACT Now Ireland on Facebook or call ACT Now Ireland at 01-4433307.
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“What many people don’t know is that some genes, like the 16 gene variations of BDNF, “listen” to the social and biological environment. If the gene variation “hears”, for example, lots of threats coming from other humans or risk to future, the gene may express itself differently. If the gene “hears” reinforcement, and support from other humans, it may express itself differently—preferentially calculating a longer life.” and ...
• Better academic success
• Better work success
• Delayed sex
• Positive mental health
• Better physical health
• Low Alcohol/Tobacco use
• Lower Drug use
• All violence lower
Behavioral science making a BIG difference :)
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“There are no long-term, lasting benefits from taking A.D.H.D. medications,” said James M. Swanson, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine, and an author of the study. “But mindfulness seems to be training the same areas of the brain that have reduced activity in A.D.H.D.”

“That’s why mindfulness might be so important,” he added. “It seems to get at the causes.”

Learn simple, effective attention skills training with ACT coaching at Brisbane ACT Centre!
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Cool new App (only IOS) a client mentioned today -> Salute the Desk. Simple quick yoga / awareness exercises for the desk bound worker - likely really useful, check it out!

"Don't forget to take a little stretch break today... 
Create space within your body... inhale into this space...Find softness... and exhale to release..." www.salutethedesk.com
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