Mindfulness is a buzz word in spiritual circles, well documented as a potent way to not only cope with, but excel in life. With the vast health benefits of this practice, we are all attempting to bring greater mindfulness into our workplaces, our daily life, and our homes.
Jon Kabat-Zinn is a well-known author, spiritual teacher, professor emeritus of medicine and the creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Centre for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He pioneered a meditative approach to treating pain and depression, that is used all over the world today.
Kabat-Zinn states that meditation is about "paying attention in a particular way" or to be "awake". Even if our bodies are in the present, our minds are either rethinking past events, or thinking of the future. Depression and anxiety are directly related to this type of thinking (a pattern I see with many of my own clients). Individuals suffering with depression commonly ruminate over the past (things that went wrong or regrets they have), whereas Individuals with anxiety tend to worry about the future. Simply put, these thought patterns focus on a person's memory and imagination. Neither of which exist in the present. The truth is, the only place you can create is in the present moment. Mindfulness-based practices such as yoga and meditation are tools to help us live in the present. Mindfulness is the practice of bringing conscious awareness to this moment in time without judgement. Ongoing practice has been shown to increase energy, enhance calm and relaxation, improve self-esteem, reduce stress, depression and anxiety, improve the immune response, and even help with chronic pain management.
Did you know that the Chinese symbol for mindfulness means "presence of heart"?