WHAT IS MINDFULNESS
Mindfulness is a set of mental attitudes and a quality of being that helps us live more in tune with our deepest values. It helps us cultivate wellbeing and resilience. Mindfulness is to be present and open to our experiences in the here and now, instead of thinking about the past or the future all the time. It gives us tools to understand our own thoughts and feelings more clearly, instead of being lost in them. The teachings of mindfulness are based on ancient Buddhist wisdom and modern-day cognitive psychology. It shows us that sufferings that arise in the mind and body, can also be healed by shifting our relationship with our mind and body.
HOW CAN IT HELP
The practise of mindfulness is known to be helpful with a wide range of mental and physical difficulties. It can help with chronic pain, stress, depression, anxiety, addictive or maladaptive behaviours, insomnia, burnout etc. It is also known to improve heart health, digestive health, promote healing and greater resilience with illness, injury or trauma. It teaches us how to have a more helpful attitude towards ourselves, our circumstances and experiences.
HOW TO PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
Once introduced to mindfulness anyone can practice it informally in their daily lives. The attitudes of mindfulness can be brought to any activity which can turn ordinary daily chores into nourishing, meaningful, satisfying experiences. Being open minded, calm and grateful about small things can make us live more mindfully and have a more rewarding experience of our lives.
MODERN DAY FORMAL MINDFULNESS
Mindfulness was first formalized as an 8-week course by Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn at University of Massachusetts Medical School as MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) in the 90s and later adapted with a cognitive behavioral framework by Professor Mark Williams at Oxford University as MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitve Therapy). It is now widely prescribed for a variety of mental and physical difficulties in the US and UK with its recognition gaining traction globally.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Syeda Hossain studied Neuroscience and Behavioural Psychology at Emory University in Atlanta. Social Psychology at The New School for Social Research in New York. She trained in Psychoanalysis at The Institute of Psychoanalysis in London. Trained in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy at The Oxford Mindfulness Foundation. She is certified by The Devon School of Mindfulness in the UK to teach mindfulness.
"Remember, the practice of peace always begins right here, right now."
Thich Nhat Hanh