I was first introduced to Mindfulness at my workplace, it’s an old principle which all of us might have heard at some point in life but might not have applied to our daily life consciously. It has gained so much popularity, that I would urge you to practice mindfulness.
It owes roots to many eastern traditions including Buddhism, Zen, Hinduism, Tibetan and other meditation techniques. Thich Nhat Hanh, the monk who popularized mindfulness in the West and a global spiritual leader, taught that it is an energy to be cultivated all day long, to sustain compassionate action so we can help relieve suffering in ourselves and the world.
It’s a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Practice mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress. It’s a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment.
You can embrace mindfulness in every moment in your life, while breathing, walking, speaking, listening, engaging in the world or alone. Mindfulness is not a tool but a path. When we practice mindfulness, we send the message to our brain that we are more effective at dealing with everyday tasks when we are aware, observant, non reactive, and nonjudgmental. It increases the neuroplasticity in the brain that causes our brain to make the changes that will improve our ability to function mindfully. Heartfulness has the similar practice to be in meditative state all the time. Only difference being the latter focuses on source of inner light, while mindfulness focuses on being aware in the present.
Benefits of Mindfulness
Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts, studied mindfulness under several Buddhist teachers including Nhat Hanh, developed a 8 week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program aimed at reducing stress. MBSR became so popular that it served as an inspiration to develop Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), a therapy aimed at treating Major Depressive Disorder.
At schools, it is aimed at calming and relaxation for students as well as for educators to build compassion and empathy for others. Training has been shown to boost resilience in children and help them understand and regulate their emotions, build confidence and coping with social skills, ability to pay attention and being focused.
Introduction in corporate settings has been found to result in better employee well-being, lower levels of frustration, lower absenteeism and burnout as well as an improved overall work environment. Since high levels of mindfulness correlate with ethical decision-making and increased personal awareness and emotional regulation.
Here’s an interesting video by Jon Kabat Zinn delivered at Google.