“Mindfulness is a particular way of paying attention: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.”
– Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness as a concept and a practice has been around for millennia. In recent years, interest in mindfulness has skyrocketed. This interest is largely due to the beneficial effects mindfulness can have on easing the stress and ailments that come with the complex demands and distractions of life in the 21st century.
The ever-changing, often challenging and repeated demands of living lead us to develop habits of mind that become hidden from conscious awareness. These habits commonly include worrying, fault finding, procrastinating, self-doubt and busyness. Overtime we come to confuse these habits with truth and simply who we are: ‘That’s just who I am. I’m a worrier.’ These habits and our lack of awareness, inhibit our human capacity to make conscious choices and to love the life we want. Mindfulness helps us to be fully present to ourselves and to whatever life presents moment-to-moment, with friendly, open, curiosity.
It is unsurprising then that in recent decades there has been growing interest in the practice of mindfulness and its effects. This interest has been fuelled by developments in neuroscience and the widespread adoption of meditation and mindfulness practice by hundreds of thousands of people across the developed world, including high profile individuals and corporations such as Steve Jobs, Judith Lucy, Richard Gere, Arianna Huffington, Ruby Wax, Google, Apple, Prentice Hall, General Mills and Target, to name just a few.
Developments in neuroscience have revealed that the brain continues to develop and change throughout life, and that mindfulness practice strengthens areas of the brain important for many of the things that make us human:
- Planning and decision-making
- Relationships and communication
- Compassion, empathy and kindness
Mindfulness is a practical path to personal and professional transformation and wellbeing. If you are open to your human potential, if you are ready to wake up to yourself and live life more consciously, you will experience the benefits of mindfulness practice.
The benefits of mindfulness practice according to research across a range of fields – medicine, psychology, education and business, include:
- Reduced stress, anxiety, depression, emotional reactivity, worrying, rushing and procrastination
- Boosted immune and gut function, sleep quality and libido
- Improved concentration, problem-solving, cognitive flexibility, interpersonal communication, lifestyle choices, self-esteem and overall wellbeing
- Increased self-confidence, resilience, creativity and empathy
When we practice paying attention to our experiences moment-to-moment, with friendly, open, non-judgmental curiosity, we begin to notice the causes and conditions – the physical sensations, feelings and thoughts, as well as external circumstances, that underlie our habitual ways of being. We notice the effects on ourselves and others. This noticing, free from judgment, opens up our human capacity for free will and happiness. We all have the capacity to choose how we respond to what is going on within us and around us, to avoid needless suffering and to maximize joy and harmony.
Mindfulness is for anyone who is ready and willing to:
- Open to awareness
- Make time for practice
- Let go of habits that are no longer helpful
- Be more present and open to life
If this sounds like you, Mindful Works can help. Check out the range of courses, retreats, professional development and personal mentoring options or invite acclaimed facilitator, Dr Sharn Rocco, to your workplace or organization.