Though it has its roots in Buddhist meditation, the practice of mindfulness has entered mainstream Psychology in part through the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn and his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, which he launched at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. Since that time, thousands of studies have documented the myriad of mental & emotional health benefits of mindfulness in general. Mindfulness is a practice that I encourage when working with my clients or Yoga students.
Mindfulness; the beautiful art of being present. Mindfulness creates a sense of freedom; you find yourself being less critical, less judgemental and more flexible with your thinking. Being mindful allows you to become less reactive and more responsive. It can help you deal with a range of different emotions especially anger, stress, anxiety and depression. The quality of your life improves, you tend to feel more grounded and peaceful. Mindfulness helps you find that place of stillness where you are able to connect to your inner truth. Finding that inner space is essential if you want a break from the white noise that often rolls around in our minds causing stress and chaos. You can also be mindful without practicing a formal meditation. Being mindful is by paying attention, noticing, observing or witnessing our thoughts, feelings, sensations and surroundings without the overture of judgemental thoughts. In other words, we practice acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our sensations, thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, that there is a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we are sensing in the present moment rather than revisiting the past or predicting the future.