Kane has the jitters and is having trouble concentrating because he can’t decide what he should do on his “to do list.” His energy increases in the fall due to the cooler weather. He has been worrying about which of the things on his schedule he should tackle first.
This inability to concentrate resulted in Kane being overwhelmed, frozen in his worry, wandering around but not really being present and ultimately getting nothing done except eating. Kane always makes time to eat. However, since he isn’t paying attention, he stubbed his toe and doesn’t even remember his walk this afternoon.
He knew he was missing precious time, so he called Michael Petterson at New England Mindfulness and Performance LLC.
Kane met his friend Michael Petterson, a Federal Law Enforcement Officer and owner of New England Mindfulness LLC at a local coffee shop.
Michael who practices and teaches Mindfulness, shares his expertise with first responders at presentations throughout the country, decided to bring his knowledge locally to police departments, fire departments, state police agencies and civilians in the general public. Kane has been having trouble concentrating so his meeting with Mike about practicing mindfulness was scheduled at the perfect time.
Kane asked Michael to explain what living mindfully means. Michael explained that living mindfully means living in the present moment. It means being more aware and awake to each moment and being fully engaged in what is happening in one’s surroundings with acceptance and without judgement. Mike told Kane it would be an effective way to manage his everyday stress.
Besides being a Federal Law Enforcement Officer, Mike served with the Massachusetts Army National Guard for 21 years as Military Police, completed 3 deployments, and is a retired Sergeant First Class. Both of these professions require being orientated to the present moment and require decompression at the end of the day.
Practicing breathing skills relaxes the parasympathetic nervous system, which sends a signal to the brain that you are safe and don’t need to be on high alert. Deep breathing is a learned skill that helps the brain receive additional oxygen in general.
Kane practiced some deep breathing techniques to calm his nerves. He found himself slipping into a comfortable rhythm and an ability to concentrate on his breath. To bring even more awareness to his mind and body, Mike walked him through a body scan which allowed Kane to notice where he holds tension in his body and practice relaxing each area that holds tension.
Kane found it helpful to have tools that work in the moment to relax his mind and body for greater comfort and renewed concentration. Kane realized he was missing some of the simple pleasures of his day by being caught up in all his thoughts. One thought at a time and one task at a time gets things done. The greater skill is learning to relax the mind and simply finding your breath. Kane could see why first responders enjoyed working with Michael Petterson.
Kane understands there is a special level of trust since he is a member of the profession. Also New England Mindfulness and Performance focuses on Education and Training instead of a counseling setting which is a more comfortable match for the general population as a whole.
In general, mindfulness has also been identified as being helpful for generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and basic concentration. This is Kane’s favorite season, and he wants to enjoy crunching the leaves on his walk and smelling all the smells. He is not a fan of Halloween decorations but maybe if he was more mindful, he wouldn’t feel like they were sneaking up on him.
So, what workshops does Mike provide?
New England Mindfulness and Performance LLC provides mindfulness, meditation, and wellness courses tailored to the needs of an individual or organization. They offer veteran and first responder discounts. Training courses are a half day, full day, two days, or 3 days. For more information on how to sign up for training, please contact Michael Petterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As for Kane, well he is getting his work done by practicing breathing, meditation, and mindfulness. He hopes you will take the time to feel better by practicing these skills too. Reach out to Mike if you would like to receive training.
(email@example.com) or check out his Facebook page at New England Mindfulness and Performance LLC
Kane Peaslee, Columnist