Mindfulness has become quite a buzzword lately. You might find yourself reading about its efficacy for reducing stress and anxiety. You may have tried it or know people who have. There’s probably a meditation app somewhere on your phone (whether or not you’re using it!) But how much do you actually use and know about the philosophies and tools that go into a mindful lifestyle?
Mindfulness is and always has been a foundational practice in my own self-growth as well as in my psychotherapy work. I see every day its ability to increase self-awareness, reduce overwhelm and help people develop a greater depth of emotional resilience to life’s challenges.
There are tons of research articles supporting the ability of mindfulness to reduce stress and anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, manage and recover from chronic pain and illness, increase focus and academic success, and improve self-compassion, to name a few.
If you haven’t already, just Google benefits of mindfulness and be ready to have your mind blown with all the science backing this ancient practice.
Or just take my word for it.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness, also called Vipassana or Insight Meditation, is a 25-century-old practice that originated as a Buddhist tradition. Jon Kabat-Zinn is credited with conducting early research on Mindfulness and its ability to reduce stress, and thus secularizing the practice and bringing it into the Western world as a health and wellness tool.
Who should practice mindfulness?
Everyone! From children to the elderly, therapists and clients, world leaders and their constituents, teachers and students, people in rural or urban environments, wealthy or not.
Where does mindfulness happen?
I’m big on breaking the myth of the Buddhist monastery, or the notion that meditation is this esoteric act for people destined for enlightenment. Meditation is something that can happen in the driver’s seat of a car, on a hike, in a therapist’s office or in a group with friends. There is no special time or place.
How do we practice mindfulness?
It helps to have some guidance at first. Taking an 8-week MBSR course is a great foundation, downloading a meditation app (and actually using it!) is a convenient start. Finding a Meetup group that gathers regularly. Working with a psychotherapist who incorporates mindfulness techniques into their practice. If you seek community, you’re going to feel more supported and the practice is more likely to be sustainable for you.
about the author
Hi! I'm Natalie. And my passion is helping people live more peaceful, meaningful lives. Through holistic therapy in Pasadena and here on the blog, my mission is to provide people with the support and tools they need to live their best life.