Mindfulness Training (Experience the Benefits in Your Life)
Mindfulness is a word that has become widely popular in today’s world. Surely you have heard about mindfulness, or read about the many benefits you can attain from mindful awareness and mindfulness meditations. You probably know someone who is taking mindfulness training to transform their life through mindfulness, or perhaps you are one of the millions of people who have learned the practice of mindfulness and are actively using it to enrich your daily life.
Mindfulness became known as a stress management and wellness practice during the 1980s, when Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn began teaching mindfulness to chronic-pain patients at his Stress Reduction Clinic in Massachusetts. He designed a program mindfulness training program called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (aka MBSR), which proved to be profoundly beneficial for people experiencing chronic pain and the stress related to that pain.
Following Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness researchers and practitioners throughout the world discovered evidence showing that mindfulness effectively reduces stress. Today, there are thousands of scientific studies available to us regarding the long list of physical, emotional and cognitive benefits of learning and practicing mindfulness. There are also Mindfulness Training programs that teach you how to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life.
What is Mindfulness?
In modern times, mindfulness has been broadly defined as a way of paying attention to the present moment with a non-judgmental attitude. In his book, Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness (1990), Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as follows:
“Mindfulness is a particular way of paying attention. Mindfulness is the disciplined practice of moment-to-moment awareness, the complete “owning” of each moment of your experience, good, bad or ugly.”
However, mindfulness existed long before Jon Kabat-Zinn turned it into the stress management tool that has now firmly established itself in the medical and mental health field.
Aside from his definitions and teachings, there are other definitions and ways of practicing mindfulness. Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese monk who has been teaching and writing about mindfulness since the 1960s.
In his book, The Miracle of Mindfulness (1975), Thich Nhat Hanh offers us the following definitions of Mindfulness:
“Mindfulness is the miracle by which we master and restore ourselves.”
“Mindfulness frees us of forgetfulness and dispersion and makes it possible to live fully each minute of life.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh