4 Ways ChatGPT Might Help With Mindfulness Facilitation
By Mo Edjlali, Mindful Leader Founder and CEO
I’ve been a bit obsessed with ChatGPT. It’s incredible. We all have heard about AI in the abstract, but this thing is live and you can use it now. At our last CWMF alumni event and in our CWMF course I’ve been talking about the potential impact of AI for the last three years and am thrilled with the advances and usefulness of ChatGPT. It's like having a super smart friend at your fingertips ready to help with almost anything. I have found it to be a wonderful tool to help flesh out thoughts, ideas, plans - it can help you come up with content or bounce ideas around. We are quickly adapting and planning on providing training and resources to help you use AI to support our shared mission of fostering Mindfulness and Compassion in the workplace. Sure there are many unanswered questions and concerns about AI; however, our approach is to jump in and figure things out - instead of sitting on the sidelines with fear and criticism.
So I thought it would be fun to ask ChatGPT to help us understand how it can support our work. The following article is co-produced by ChatGPT. Who better to start with helping us figure out how to use ChatGPT than ChatGPT?
Fortunately, ChatGPT, a large language model trained by OpenAI, can help to support you in your role as a facilitator by providing a range of resources and capabilities that can help to enhance the effectiveness of your mindfulness programs.
1. Generating guided meditation scripts for different themes and topics
One of the key ways in which ChatGPT can support you is by generating guided meditation scripts for different themes and topics. This can be particularly useful when leading sessions with employees who may be new to mindfulness practices, or when introducing specific themes such as stress management or focus. For example, if you were looking to lead a session on stress management, ChatGPT could generate a script that includes prompts for deep breathing exercises, and other mindfulness practices that are known to be effective in reducing stress.
Example - generated by ChatGPT:
“I'm looking to lead a session on stress management, generate a 5 minute mbsr based workplace-friendly, script that includes prompts for deep breathing exercises, and other mindfulness practices that are known to be effective in reducing stress.”
Welcome everyone. Today, we'll be focusing on stress management through mindfulness practices.
First, let's start by finding a comfortable seated position. Close your eyes, and take a deep breath in through your nose, filling your lungs completely. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Feel the tension in your body release with each exhale.
Next, we'll be practicing a deep breathing exercise known as "square breathing." Inhale for a count of four, hold for a count of four, exhale for a count of four, and hold for a count of four. Repeat this cycle for a few minutes.
Now, bring your attention to your body. Starting at the top of your head, scan down to your toes, noticing any areas of tension or discomfort. Take a deep breath in, and exhale, releasing any tension as you exhale.
Next, we'll be practicing a mindfulness exercise called "The Raisin Exercise". Take a raisin, or any small object, and place it in the palm of your hand. Notice the texture, the shape, and the color. Bring the raisin to your nose and smell it. Bring it to your mouth and notice the sensation of your lips and tongue as you prepare to eat it. Take a small bite and notice the taste, texture, and sensation in your mouth. As you chew, focus your attention on the present moment and the experience of eating the raisin.
Finally, take a moment to sit quietly, and bring your attention to your breath. Allow any thoughts or feelings to pass by like clouds in the sky, without getting caught up in them. When you're ready, slowly open your eyes. Remember, you can practice these exercises anytime, anywhere, to help manage stress. Thank you for joining me today.
While this meditation is not perfect, it is a starting point that a facilitator can use to craft their own script - or, in this case, three different scripts, since three exercises may be a lot for one session. Additionally, this script is not trauma sensitive (which, to be fair, we did not ask for), so someone using it may want to alter some of it. Always make sure to use ChatGPT with caution and check its work.
2. Providing information and resources on mindfulness and MBSR practices
Another way in which ChatGPT can support you is by providing information and resources on mindfulness and MBSR practices. This can be especially helpful for employees who are new to mindfulness and are looking for more information on the subject. For example, ChatGPT could generate articles or infographics that explain the basics of mindfulness, the benefits of mindfulness practices, and how to get started with mindfulness exercises.
“write a 1 paragraph description of the benefits of mindfulness practice and list 4 benefits”
Practicing mindfulness can have a wide range of benefits for both individuals and organizations. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and paying attention to one's thoughts, feelings and surroundings without judgment. This can lead to a reduction in stress and anxiety, as well as improved focus and concentration. Mindfulness practices can also help with emotional regulation, allowing individuals to respond to difficult situations in a more effective way. Additionally, incorporating mindfulness into one's daily routine can lead to enhanced self-awareness and self-compassion. In summary, some of the benefits of mindfulness practice are:
Reduced stress and anxiety
Improved focus and concentration
Increased emotional regulation
Enhanced self-awareness and self-compassion.
3. Answering questions and providing explanations on mindfulness and MBSR concepts
ChatGPT can also be used to answer questions and provide explanations on mindfulness and MBSR concepts. This can be particularly useful when leading group sessions, as it allows you to address any questions or concerns that employees may have in real-time. For example, if an employee asks you to explain the difference between mindfulness and meditation, ChatGPT could generate a response that provides a clear and concise explanation of the two concepts.
“explain the difference between mindfulness and meditation in one paragraph”
Mindfulness and meditation are related practices, but they have different focus and approach. Mindfulness is a state of awareness that can be cultivated through various techniques, such as paying attention to one's breath, bodily sensations, or thoughts and emotions, which can be practiced in any moment, whether you are sitting, walking, or doing a task. Meditation, on the other hand, is a specific technique or set of techniques for achieving mindfulness, typically involving sitting in a quiet place, focusing on the breath, and trying to clear the mind of distracting thoughts. It is a practice to achieve the state of mindfulness.
4. Helping to create engaging and interactive activities and exercises for mindfulness and MBSR sessions
In addition to providing information and resources, ChatGPT can also help you to create engaging and interactive activities and exercises for your mindfulness and MBSR sessions. For example, ChatGPT could generate a series of questions or prompts that employees can use to reflect on their experiences with mindfulness practices, or generate a list of exercises that employees can use to build mindfulness skills.
“generate a series of 4 questions or prompts that employees can use to reflect on their experiences with mindfulness practices”
How has practicing mindfulness affected your ability to manage stress and stay focused at work?
In what ways have you noticed improvements in your communication and relationships with coworkers since incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine?
Reflect on a specific instance in which mindfulness helped you respond to a difficult situation in a more effective way.
How do you plan to continue incorporating mindfulness into your daily work routine to maintain the benefits you have experienced?
Using ChatGPT for Mindfulness
In conclusion, ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for workplace mindfulness facilitators and MBSR teachers by providing a range of resources and capabilities that can help to enhance the effectiveness of mindfulness programs. From generating guided meditation scripts to providing information and resources on mindfulness and MBSR practices, answering questions and providing explanations on mindfulness and MBSR concepts, and creating engaging and interactive activities and exercises. As a facilitator, you can use ChatGPT to help you in your role of making mindfulness more accessible and impactful for your employees. However, we are in the early stages of understanding ChatGPT and AI. The AI speaks with great confidence, can be biased, and can be flat out wrong. We need to take great care to use this as a tool and verify, validate, and bring in professional help when it’s called for.
Have you used ChatGPT? Do you have any concerns about it? Share in the comments!
Interested in exploring more on how you can use ChatGPT? I am working on a course to do exactly that. Sign up here to stay updated on course launch details.
Hi Mo a very interesting piece, thank you!
As a graduate-school adjunct faculty, the emergence of ChatGPT as a short-cut has been disturbing as teachers grapple with discerning what a student has learned versus copied and pasted. As a still-early MBSR teacher, I understand the attraction of AI-generated practice content, but am concerned that the productivity short-cut comes at the expense of the learning curve. I understand the productivity short-cut as evidenced in your post, but am concerned about the learning curve short cut that comes with it. If the journey matters as much as or more than the destination, what are the costs of taking a bullet train instead of walking?
Chris, you 100% described my concerns with ChatGPT. The tech is an amazing tool with thousands of helpful applications but where will it leave the development of students and teachers in all areas of education?
Chris thanks for your comment. I thought I'd ask ChatGPT for fun! And here is the response:
I can understand the concern about the potential for students to rely too heavily on AI-generated content and potentially miss out on important learning experiences. However, I also believe that AI tools like me can be a valuable supplement to traditional learning methods and can provide helpful resources for students and teachers alike
The key is to use AI tools in a responsible and thoughtful way, integrating them into the learning process in a way that supports and enhances the students' understanding and development. For example, AI tools can be used to generate practice materials or to provide quick answers to specific questions, but students should also be encouraged to engage in deeper learning and critical thinking through traditional methods. Ultimately, it is up to educators and students to determine the best balance between using AI tools and other learning methods, and to use AI in a way that supports and enhances their learning and development.
I am a yoga and mindfulness teacher and I am interested in trying this with students to see if they can be more engaged in learning about mindfulness.
Thoughtful but terrifying and one-sided piece, Mo. Although AI will in the future be an inseparable part of everyone's workflow, and can already be helpful for bouncing ideas around, it currently reinforces biases and the more unhelpful elements of the status quo. In can also propagate straight out misunderstandings and falsehoods. I fear that articles like yours suggesting Chat GPT can 'answer questions' and 'provide resources' further gives people false confidence in what they get out from it - Chat GPT can sounds like an 'expert system' (AI trained by experts with curated and accurate input) but at this point it is in fact just a chat bot, averaging input from a now out-of-date snap shot of the internet and bulldozing any nuance.
Chat GPT 's overlords have decided to gloss over uncertainty in order to have a seamless conversation in natural language - that s what the demonstration is of. It rarely says 'I'm not sure but...', or "it looks like this from Source X, but Source Y contradicts it'. The exaggerated confidence in Chat GPT's language encourages people to mistakenly think that they now have expertise having consulted it, and are likely to apply this in the real world rather than seeking expert help or checking their sources. In a mindfulness context, like many others, it may lead to an even greater wave of well-meaning people unaware of their own naivety and incompetence delivering content or interventions without understanding of the complexities and risks.
I agree Jamie. There was a famous book by Joseph Weizenbaum on just this in the late 1960s. He wrote a program called Eliza that was a simple simulation of a rogerian psychotherapist that created the same stir. He regretted it and argued strongly against the use of AI in such contexts. AI is more powerful today and superficially more convincing. Jeanette Winterson writes well on this subject.
One-sided, terrified? This is strong language, my friend - I don't see this as anything to be terrified by, and by one-sided if you mean that I believe ChatGPT is an incredible tool that folks ought to learn to use immediately you're right. Let's be cautious, responsible, and curious! I don't really like the fearmongering I'm seeing out there and am surprised by how threatened folks feel. I'd love to debate you on this if you want to have some fun.
Thanks for the article. I enjoyed reading it.
Regarding the question about the difference between mindfulness and meditation, I have a clear distinction between the two that I use and believe is helpful. I particularly dislike when people talk about mindfulness and meditation together as in, “Come and learn mindfulness and meditation.” When I talk about mindfulness I talk about two separate things that I feel makes much more sense:
1 - Mindfulness Meditation
2 - Mindful Living
I compare to sports and say “ Mindfulness Meditation is the practice. Mindful Living is the game. You practice a series of mindfulness meditation practices in order to live more mindfully. The practice is important, but more important is the game.”
There’s more. I wrote about it. If you are interested I can send to you.
Thank you, again, for your article.
Mo, thanks for the informative article about ChatGPT. I’m curious about your perspective regarding where this tech will leave writers in the future? Will we be redundant relics of the past?
As with any technology (think the printing press), some jobs will disappear and new ones will appear. I don't think good writers will go away, I think they will produce higher-quality material in greater quantities. They will use ChatGPT like great coders are - as a co-pilot/ assistant.
Great information thank you!
I have been now using it for many things and I am finding it very helpful to generate ideas and thoughts around multiple types of topics.
Leave a comment