What is Mindfulness?

What is mindfulness?

Being mindful involves us in paying kindly attention to one thing at a time, in great detail.   It is a skill, just like riding a bike or playing a musical instrument, which improves with practice. 

Mindfulness works by allowing us to notice and observe our experience just as it is.  This awareness, in time, gives us the opportunity to change old, and potentially damaging behaviours and replace them with those which are wise and beneficial for us.

Mindfulness is also called heartfulness because at the core of all meditation exercises is a strong sense of compassion and kindness, to ourselves and to those around us.

Where does it come from?

Aspects of mindfulness are found in many different religions especially Buddhism.

Modern, secular mindfulness took shape largely through the work of Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre where the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course was designed and clinically tested.

Since then various other mindfulness treatments have been subject to full scientific scrutiny and proven to be effective such as the Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy which is now recommended for those with a history of three or more episodes of depression by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

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