What is mindfulness,
and why is it so popular?
“Mindfulness can only be understood from the inside out. It is a way of being and a way of seeing that has profound implications for understanding the nature of our own minds and bodies, and for living life as if it really mattered.”
There’s a great deal of conversation about mindfulness these days.
Scientific evidence-based research has proven that mindfulness can radically shift our experience and have a lasting impact on our ability to manage emotions and out-of-control thought processes, even altering the sensation of pain.
Mindfulness is the process of paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment in the present moment, without passing judgment.
Only in the present can one learn, grow and change. By paying attention to the experience in each moment, we can develop a different relationship to ourselves and how we relate to others.
Life is full of highs and lows, change and challenges.
Mindfulness helps us see that praise and blame, success and failure, pleasure and pain, fame and disrepute come and go. It is when we become less attached to things being a certain way, we are less rocked when things change. This frees us to be who we are with ease and acceptance.
Even global leaders such as Google, Facebook and SAP have realised how much of an impact mindfulness can have on their business AND team through increasing team satisfaction, productivity and having a positive impact on the bottom-line through developing a simple practice of self-awareness.
Practicing mindfulness at work has been proven to have many benefits for both employees and employers:
- A decrease in employee absenteeism
- Increased workplace performance and productivity
- Boosted creativity and innovation
- Team building and leadership development
- Improvements in relationships
- Reducing stress and building resilience
- Building emotional intelligence.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR)
The MBSR is an evidence-based stress-reduction program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.
Having been widely researched over the last 35 years, the MBSR has been scientifically proven to help with a range of physical and psychological difficulties including anxiety, depression, and chronic pain:
“Our work over the past thirty-five years has shown consistent, reliable, and reproducible demonstrations of major and clinically relevant reductions in medical and psychological symptoms across a wide range of medical diagnoses, including many different chronic pain conditions, other medical diagnoses and in medical patients with a secondary diagnosis of anxiety and/or panic, over the eight weeks of the MBSR intervention, and maintenance of these changes in some cases for up to four years of follow-up.”
The MBSR program introduces participants to an assortment of mindfulness tools and techniques designed to cultivate awareness, acceptance and compassion towards themselves.
Held in a supportive and structured space, and incorporating mindfulness meditation techniques and gentle physical movement, the 8-week MBSR program assists individuals to:
- Bring positive changes to attitudes and behaviours, increasing the quality of relationships
- Improve working memory and gain clarity from a calmer mind
- Improve physically with better immune function, improved sleep practices, and a healthier heart
- Reduction in acute and chronic pain
- Learn to manage stress and anxiety.
These themes and practices are reinforced and built upon in each succeeding week through:
- Guided mindfulness meditations
- A theoretical framework
- Gentle physical movement
- Group discussion
- Take home activities for daily practice.
MP3 mindfulness practice recordings and a workbook are supplied.
Training by an embodied mindfulness teacher is paramount to the success of delivering the benefits of this program to participants. It is also important to note that the MBSR program has been designed to complement and not replace traditional medical and psychological treatments.