“When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens and we begin to be fulfilled with acceptance, joy, peace and love”
Thich Nhat Hanh
MINDFULNESS HAS ITS ROOTS IN BUDDHIST MEDITATION
Mindfulness, which has its roots in Buddhist meditation, has been the subject of thousands of studies since Jon Kabat-Zinn launched his mindfulness program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. Mindfulness means moment-by-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensation and environment with acceptance and non-judgement. It is a state of being. It is not blocking out thoughts and not noticing what is going on around you. It is not about completely silencing your mind and trying to find calm, although through mindful practices, calm can be experienced. Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “ “The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment to moment.”
Scientific research into Mindfulness has earned its winning ribbon. The benefits of mindfulness are seen in many areas such as:
- Mental health – mindfulness has been shown to decrease depression and anxiety
- Improved positivity and reduced rumination
- Stress reduction - individuals who practice mindfulness have been shown to have less of the stress hormone cortisol
- Improved cognitive function – mindfulness helps with concentration, memory and focus. Mindfulness has shown to help with self-observation
- Improves relationships – mindfulness helps individuals to communicate attentively and without judgement. This in turns has the ability to reduce relationship conflict
- Increased health – mindfulness has been shown to improve the immune system, create wellbeing and reduce psychological stress
- Less emotional reactivity – improved responding and therefore improved emotional responses
Mindfulness is not mindlessness
Mindfulness is not mindlessness - a state I refer to as being on ‘autopilot’. When you are on autopilot your attention is not present and is elsewhere. When you live this way, you can fail to notice what is going on inside you and around you and can create mental exhaustion. This doesn’t mean that being on autopilot is always bad because there are many times in our life when it is beneficial, however, living life mindlessly will not support a life of wellbeing.
I have been trained to teach the Youth Mindfulness Programme, have developed a Mindful Reiki programme, incorporate mindfulness in my coaching and am available to present mindfulness workshops.
Please click on the links below to learn how Opt 2 Be Happy can help you to develop a mindful, flourishing life.
YOUTH MINDFULNESS PROGRAMME
This programme draws on mindfulness traditions as well as research in neuroscience and psychology.
ONE DAY INTRODUCTION TO MINDFULNESS WORKSHOP
In this workshop, I will introduce you to the foundations of mindfulness.
This is a 4 week programme designed to mindfully heal and restore you.