Mindfulness is all about learning how to focus your attention in the present moment without being overwhelmed by thoughts, events, and circumstances. It is a skill that can be developed through practice, just like any other skill.
Research has shown that people are happier when their minds are focused and not wandering. The ability to "pay attention, in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally" as Jon Kabat Zinn defines mindfulness, is available to all of us.
Becoming aware of what is on your mind from moment to moment, and then choosing to gently and firmly redirect your attention and reconnent with what is most important for you in the present moment helps you feel calmer and more resourceful. Click here for more detailed benefits.
The more we practice mindfulness, the more we are fully present in our day to day lives - able to show up and enjoy and appreciate all that life has to offer us, free of regret or recrimination. The connection between mindfulness and reduced stress and associated health issues is becoming stronger and more compelling day by day.
For example, studies at Harvard have shown that just eight weeks of mindfulness training increases activity in the left prefrontal cortex of your brain – a predictor of happiness and well-being. Your immune response is also enhanced.
The bottom line is practicing mindfulness literally changes the landscape of your brain which in turn changes how you experience your life, and the world around you. Click here for further details.
Mindfulness is for anyone and everyone, regardless of age, experience, education, religious or spiritual inclination. It is simple, practical, and portable.
Wherever you go, you take your mindfulness practice with you - it justs needs you and your willingnesss to stay in the game!
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
Jon Kabat-Zinn: Befriending Your Mind, Befriending Your Life Video Excerpt
Mindfulness of Breath
Paying attention to our experience of breathing is the most basic of the mindfulness techniques for meditation and is probably the most widely practised of all meditation techniques.
Mindfulness of Breath is a mindfulness practice, not a breathing exercise. The aim is to simply become aware of the feeling of the breath, rather than seeking to control it in some way.
Mindfulness of Breath is a wonderful introduction to the profound benefits of mindfulness.
Practice Mindfulness of Breath daily and begin to notice the changes that take place as you establish familiarity and ease with the technique
To find out more about the complete practice of Mindfulness-Based Stillness Meditation click here
Befriending Your Mind, Befriending Your Life: Mindfulness and the Endless Adventure of Growing into Yourself - This excerpt comes from Jon Kabat-Zinn's keynote presentation at the 2013 Bridging Hearts and Minds of Youth conference