“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Developing a practice of mindfulness encourages one to live in the current moment; to be alive to all that is happening in one’s life. Living our life, moment to moment, now, is the only opportunity we have to live. By practicing mindfulness we are open to all that life has to offer cultivate a curiosity about our experiences, the pleasant and unpleasant. Many of us are often on autopilot, and find ourselves dwelling on past events or worrying about what may happen in the future. Mindfulness training helps us come back to the present moment and be here now.
When our ancestors faced frightening situations, like coming across a bear while hunting for food, they would go into a “fight-or-flight” response. This “fight-or-flight” stress response provided a burst of energy so they could respond to the dangerous predator. While we generally are not caught off guard foraging for food, we’re still bombarded with daily “threats” like high stress jobs, family responsibilities, relationship issues, money worries or elderly parents who need our assistance. These daily problems can not only trigger our fight-or-flight response but can keep us stuck in this high level of stress. This level of stress can in turn result in a multitude of health problems.
Over the years scientific research has shown, over and over again, the benefits of mindfulness for managing our stress, and in turn the benefits to the health issues that are effected by stress. Developing a personal practice of mindfulness has been shown to have an impact on: high blood pressure, heart disease, digestive conditions, lack of sleep, obesity, headaches, backaches, anxiety, and depression.
Developing a mindfulness practice can impact your well-being at any moment in your life, and is a life time tool to manage stress and live your life now.