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Nov 14, 2019

Healthy Living: Mindfulness, a Way to Improve Your Wellbeing

Stress, anxiety, pain management, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder – that would be a shortlist of all the things that are said to be remedied by the mindfulness practice. The booming interest in this form of meditation is hard to miss, and even here in Belize, it is also taken root. In tonights Healthy Living, we find out more about the practice of mindfulness.

 

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

The practice is as simple as closing your eyes and breathing.

 

Jeremy Enriquez, Mindfulness Coach, Rhythm of Change

“As you breathe in, just be aware of the breath going in, and as you breathe out, just become aware of the breath going out.”

 

A simple enough exercise that is triumphed as a way of dramatically improving your wellbeing.

 

Jeremy Enriquez

Jeremy Enriquez

“Whenever you find yourself with your thoughts running away without judgment just accept the thought and the distraction and return to the breath.”

 

This is what mindfulness meditation looks like. Im being led through this exercise by Belizean, Jeremy Enriquez, who is a mindfulness coach. Enriquez was introduced to the practice over thirty years ago.

 

Jeremy Enriquez

“It took a while of soul searching that started all the way back in the 1980s when I use to teach religious studies at a high school in Punta Gorda, and at that time I was introduced to mindfulness by a Jesuit priest who had just returned from Japan from a Zen Monastery. He introduced me to the practice and when I went to study psychology.   I got a little frustrated with just western psychology. It had not covering the depth that I was looking for that had been introduced by Father Tennant Wright, and so I incorporated eastern psychology. And that was a fascinating way of looking at the human mind and the human condition and human life. I could use this as an example of an agitated mind. With the cloudiness and the disillusionment of so many thoughts running through and with the inability to see clearly and make clear decisions and to respond appropriately. But, when we are in mediation, we just observe, and the mind, in a sense, brought more clarity.”

 

So how do you achieve clarity of the mind through mindfulness? Well, one common misconception is that you are quieting the mind, but in reality, what youre doing is training your mind to focus on the present.

 

Jeremy Enriquez

“You will notice as you start to focus on your breath that your mind will always want to wander. The exercise that strengthens the muscle of the mind is to bring back the mind to the awareness. Youre training the mind to be aware of what is in the present moment. Moment by moment and accepting what is the reality without reacting or judgment. The flip side of that is mindlessness, which means youre in the moment but constantly wishing away the moment always not satisfied with what is happening always the mind is chaos.  Always thinking about something in the past and dwelling on that and ruminating on that over and over, that is what makes people sick.  We learn the lessons from those, yes. We remember them, yes, but were not dwelling on it to produce more suffering. Likewise, another part of the mindlessness is constantly thinking about the future. Constantly thinking, I wish it were so. I wish it were so and never in the present.”

 

While people have practiced meditation for thousands of years, its only recently that there has been an explosion of interest. Much of that is due to science. As within the past few decades, psychologists and scientists have studied its effects on humans. A quick search online will reveal a multitude of benefits of practicing mindfulness. Still, Enriquez cautions that the benefits are only earned through diligence.

 

Jeremy Enriquez

“Meditation is—an example that was used is like saying sports, and mindfulness is just one part of it. There are various forms of medication. Mindfulness goes to the root, but it is not a cure-all for everything. Because there are various, it depends on how a person applies it; it depends on how much you practice. Even if you practice at a sport, some people will do better than others depending on the practice the persistence all of that.”

 

Enriquez now conducts mindfulness training across Belize with a wide range of groups, from prisoners to teachers to soldiers. Having integrated the practice in his own life, hes pleased to finally be able to share the practice.

 

Jeremy Enriquez

“Way back then I felt lonely in a sense cause you have something that you discovered and you want everybody to know about it, and you say this is it. It will really change your life.”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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