Mindfulness Blog 1: What is It?

Time Magazine ArticleSince 2014, when The Year of Mindful Living was coined, the interest in holistic health and mindfulness practices such as yoga and meditation has skyrocketed. From the time that Mindfulness made the cover in Time Magazine (Photography by Peter Hapak for Time) we have noticed that media attention around CEOs, Celebrities and Athletes all jumping on the Mindfulness bandwagon is not stopping.

So we got curious and begun to dig into the realm of Mindfulness! After all of our reading and research we have found Mindfulness to be simple present moment awareness. This awareness allows you to be an observer of the here and now, allowing things to be just as they are without judgment or opinion of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ doing, without the constant leaping forward in our imaginations to the future or the constant reenactment of the past…

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emertus and creator of the Stress Reduction clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School is one of the most influential people bringing Mindfulness and Meditation practices into mainstream medicine. He writes beautifully in the opening chapter of his book ‘Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment – and Your Life “Mindfulness is awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a sustained and particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”   

Where did it all start?

Mindfulness has its roots in Buddhist meditation, a practice which has entered the mainstream in recent years and has subsequently had thousands of studies completed, in part thanks to Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. Research now extensively documents the physical and mental health benefits of Mindfulness practices and has gone on to inspire countless programs on Mindfulness and Meditation in schools, prisons, hospitals, veterans centers, and beyond!

What is Mindfulness Meditation?

Mindfulness Meditation begun as a Buddhist tradition, and is a seated mediation which focuses our attention on breathing, our bodies sensations and mental relaxation. It is unique as the primary focus is on our current physical state. Mindfulness Meditation is now recognized by psychotherapists as a form of Cognitive Therapy known as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and is known to heal, relax, improve productivity, develop wisdom and self-observation skills.

Why Mindfulness?

We now know there are countless benefits of practicing Mindfulness such as; relaxation, getting in touch with yourself, boosting immunity, pain reduction, it even slows ageing! It calms the mind allowing us to listen to our thoughts, aids in more effective decision-making and allow us to coming to our senses, creating attentiveness. Mindfulness soothes and allows a clearer understanding our emotions, this helps us to manage our feelings differently and ultimately allows us to know ourselves better.

10 Ways Mindfulness can really help you:

  1. Training the Brain
  2. Improving Relationships
  3. Boosts Creativity
  4. Reduces Depression
  5. Reduces Chronic Pain
  6. Gives Deeper Meaning to Life
  7. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
  8. Controlling Addiction
  9. Regulating Eating Habits
  10. Increases Happiness!

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Rebecca Agent - Founder of Mala Earth, MBA, Sustainability Advocate, Entrepreneur, Dreamer, Yogini and Traveller