Mindfulness is the art of paying attention to the present moment1. Done so in a particular way, that is on purpose, without judgment, this attention to the moment can open up a world of possibilities around you that previously would have been ignored, or unnoticed.
This particular way of being present in the moment has been a practice of various backgrounds dating back more than 2500 years. Often associated with Buddhist philosophy, the basic mindfulness attitude can actually be found in a variety of secular and philosophical traditions, across the world1.
Bookstore shelves are increasingly filled with descriptions and guidance about mindfulness, associated philosophies, and various practices. Therefore, in such a short summary, we cannot do a description of mindfulness justice. However, what is becoming increasingly clear is the role that mindfulness practices can play in the management of stress, mental illness, and the enhancement of happiness2.
While for some a book will be guidance enough, for many, some individualized guidance and group support is often helpful in developing and maintaining a mindful practice. Much like any strategy, mindfulness needs to be practiced to be helpful. Also, depending upon your current circumstance, mindfulness-based strategies may not be the only, or even the most helpful, strategy available to you. The guidance of a trained professional can be invaluable in determining the usefulness of mindfulness, other strategies that may be helpful given your situation, and if learning about mindfulness can be helpful, what approach to take.
While mindfulness is not the only potentially useful strategy, it may be helpful in the management of a variety of disorders. Evidence is growing showing the usefulness of mindfulness-based strategies in the management of depression, anxiety, chronic pain, stress as well as related disorders, and others2. If you experience any of these disorders and are interested in how mindfulness may be helpful to you, please ask.
1 Jon Kabat-Zinn, 1990. Full Catastrophe Living. Dell Publishing, NY.
2 Mindfulness-based treatment approaches. Edited by Ruth Baer, 2006. Elsevier, San Diego.
The practice of mindfulness is long standing and crosses many cultures. It is a way of paying attention to the present moment, moment by moment. When done so in a particular way, it can help enrich lives and manage difficulty.
- Mindfulness is a practicable skill
- Practice has been linked to enhanced happiness
- Mindfulness can be used to manage depression and anxiety.
- Mindfulness can be used to manage chronic pain
- Mindfulness can be used in the management of stress and stress related disorders.
We are now taking names for our next Mindfulness Group taking place in April 2014.
If you are interested or would like further information, please contact us.