Mindful First Responder Project Course Outline
Week 1 Lesson 1
Introduction to Mindfulness. What Mindfulness is and What It is Not.
Moment to Moment, Nonjudgmental Awareness of one's thoughts, feelings,
and experience. Non-judging, Non-striving, Patience, Beginners Mind, Acceptance,
Trust, Letting Go, Practice and The Monkey Mind
Week 2 Lesson 2
The Effects of Stress and Anxiety on the Body (The Autonomic Nervous System)
We are what we feel: our physical health is directly correlated to our thoughts and emotions. “By reducing individuals’ experiences of stress, Mindfulness may help regulate the physical stress response and ultimately reduce the risk and severity of stress-related diseases.”
Rich Nauert, PhD Mindfulness Reduces the Way Stress Affects the Brain
Week 3 Lesson 3
Reacting Vs Responding
“Knowing how the environment is pulling your strings and playing you is critical to making responsive rather than reactive moves.” -Ronald A. Heifetz, The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World
“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.” -Victor Frankl
Week 4 Lesson 4
Dealing with Physical and Emotional Discomfort
We normally react to pain or discomfort in one of two ways Blocking and Drowning; however,
there is a Middle Ground, a place where you are neither pushing away difficult feelings/situations, nor being overwhelmed by them. Also, understanding the difference between Clean versus Dirty Emotions.
Week 5 Lesson 5
Mindfulness and Communication Listening and Dealing with Conflict
The 3 most common strategies are: accommodate ("be nice"), demand ("me first"), or withdraw ("I don't care"). There is a fourth way, one that involves Mindfully investigating both your world and the other's world, that can sometimes yield a surprising and creative solution that honors both.
Week 6 Lesson 6
Attention, Focus and Poise
The ability to perform as required and as desired while experiencing whatever
thoughts or emotions are being triggered by any given situation. Equanimity - The
ability to allow any and all experiences to expand and contract without interference.
Week 7 Lesson 7
Commitment to Values and Goals
Regularly and consistently demonstrating the specific behaviors and activities that are aligned with our Values and Goals and likely to directly result in optimal performance. Using Mindfulness to accept experiences (thoughts, emotions etc.) just as they are (good or bad, pleasant or painful) instead of how you wish them to be.
Week 8 Lesson 8
Mindfulness & Compassion...Finding a Practice of Your Own
In this occupation we are bombarded with stress, and most of this tension is placed on our selves. Before we know it, we are stretching ourselves and forgoing our happiness in order to live up to these lofty expectations, responsibilities (work and family), and life's obligations. We simply must be kind and loving to ourselves so that we can be genuinely kind and loving to the people around us and those we are sworn to serve.