What is Mindfulness?
I love the definition Jon Kabat-Zinn created for Mindfulness. “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” Kabat-Zinn is the founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Have you ever found yourself driving from point A to point B, not realizing how you got to your destination? Many of us face this daily with our busy schedules and multitude of things on the to-do list. Mindfulness teaches us to stop and be present. I ask my clients frequently, “your body is here, where is your mind?” Most of the time I get an answer focused on the past or somewhere in the future. This is all too common. For my clients who are interested in incorporating mindfulness into their lives, I work with them on education around mindfulness and ways to begin practicing mindfulness.
Practicing mindfulness can improve both mental and physical health. Physically, it can:
- Help relieve stress
- Treat heart disease
- Lowe blood pressure
- Reduce chronic pain
- Improve sleep
- Alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties
- It can also help be a part of the treatment process when managing:
- Substance use
- Obsessive-Compulsive behaviors
- Eating disorders