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Calm Focus Joy: Preface
Author Heidi Thompson
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CALM FOCUS JOY offers a comprehensive program for teaching breath awareness to adults and children. Breath awareness is a simple, yet effective exercise that improves focus and reduces stress. It is easy to learn and positive results can be experienced immediately.
Throughout the 5000 years that breath awareness has been in existence, it has reportedly helped millions of people live healthier and happier lives. In the past decade, in fact, researchers have established that breath awareness and other similar focusing techniques strengthen areas of the brain that are responsible for self-regulation, learning, memory, cognition, emotion, and empathy. In addition, other studies confirm that breath awareness boosts the immune system, reduces anxiety, and relieves depression. Not only can breath awareness be used as a preventative measure, therefore, but it can also be used as a remedy for many modern-day maladies.
Whether a beginner, or one seasoned in the art of meditation, Calm Focus Joy’s step-by-step program provides in-depth instructions to successfully learn and practice breath awareness. Supporting each practical lesson, a theoretical framework consisting of stories, basic instructions, teacher tips, and suggestions for practice is given. Subsequent chapters outline current research, questions and answers, and facilitation guidelines to provide all that is needed to organize and to teach breath awareness in one’s home, classroom, or community.
Over the years, I have taught a breath awareness program called Mindmastery to children of all ages and abilities. Almost every child who participated enjoyed learning the exercise and often made comments such as, “Mindmastery was hard, but I want to continue.” Encouraged by consistently positive outcomes and the ease of implementing programs into classrooms, I compiled my lessons, stories, and student instructions into a teaching manual, which has now evolved into this book.
The world’s most valuable resource is the human mind. Let us do everything within our power to protect, nurture, and develop this precious commodity. We know that happiness and health are achievable through the cultivation of calmness, focus, and joy; therefore, by establishing peace and happiness within, and empowering children in the same way, we will have taken a giant step in transforming our world into a better place.