What is mindfulness?
What is mindfulness?
Psychologists often refer to it as conscious presence. In Buddhism, where it originates from, it is referred to as wakeful attention and had been practiced for the past 2600 years. The Chinese ideogram or pictogram that means mindfulness is derived from two words: presence and heart. The presence of the heart. This is so beautiful that it makes me really delighted.
The mindfulness based stress reducement program on a doctor called Jon Kabat-Zinn brought mindfulness to the attention of Western public attention. Since then it has proliferated in hospitals, schools, prisons, yoga studios and living rooms, including mine.
Mindfulness is created when we focus our attention directed and without judgement to the present moment. Directed, so when you catch yourself wondering off candidly bring back the focus of your attention to your breathing. Without judgement, meaning when any thought comes to your mind when you calm down don’t let it suck you in. Most importantly don’t be hard on yourself no matter what came to your mind!
Why should you care?
You spend most of your time wondering contemplating about the past and speculating about the future. Okay, we know that waiting for the weekend and longing for that Summer holiday is not the best way to spend our lives but what other benefits does it have when we arrive at the here and now?
I strongly believe in two things. Fairy tales and research. Here I’ll show you some of the latter to prove the benefits of mindfulness.
It strengthens the immune system
It is good for your body. After 8 weeks of practicing mindfulness research found your resistance against illnesses improves.
It decreases stress
Are you a leader? A parent? None of that but stressed? Chronic stress changes your brain. I’m not joking. Mindfulness and meditation too but in a good way. Beside decreasing stress reaction in your body it also helps prevention by taking your attention over to positive things instead of negative ones.
You’ll become cooler
You’ll be more successful at work
How does it work in practice?
Here is a great 5-minute beginner practice in English. And if you would like a bit of help to begin, write me. You are capable of practicing wakeful attention and you don’t need expensive gear for it, only a space big enough to be able to sit comfortably. And what’s more important: time, patience and determination.
We’ll see each other on the yoga mat!