What is Mindfulness?
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” (Jon Kabat-Zinn)
Mindfulness is the ability to purposefully bring awareness to one’s experience. Mindfulness can be applied to thoughts and emotions as well as sensory experience. By using mindfulness skills, we are able to notice our experience without reacting to them.
Mindfulness creates space, changing impulsive reactions to thoughtful responses.
Introduced into medicine thirty years ago by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, mindfulness has become a successful mainstream influence in medicine, psychology, corporate environments, and education.
Thirty years of research and, more recently, brain science, offer compelling evidence to support the use of mindfulness in education. The application of mindfulness by students and educators has the potential to improve academic achievement, mental health, and inter- and intra-personal relationships.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has been used for over 30 years, pioneered in 1979 by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and others at the Center for Mindfulness (CFM) at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMass).
Mindfulness-based treatments are practiced as a form of complementary medicine in over 250 hospitals and Universities around the world, and are currently the focus of numerous research studies funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the National Institute of Health(NIH), just to name a few.
Benefits of Mindfulness
- Better focus and concentration
- Increased sense of calm
- Decreased stress & anxiety
- Enhanced health
- Improved impulse control
- Increased self-awareness
- Skillful responses to difficult emotions
- Increased empathy and understanding of others
- Development of natural conflict resolution skills
Applications of Mindfulness
Mindfulness gives children access to some of the same techniques that the world’s top athletes, speakers, and musicians use to perform at their best under pressure-filled circumstances like:
- Test Taking
- Public Speaking
- Peer Interactions
- Family Life