The term mindfulness and mindful living seem to be popping up everywhere. We have seen a significant spike of interest in holistic health and mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation in last couple of decades. But what is mindfulness? It’s all about Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment and Freeing Yourself from Anxiety.
Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at times. Anxiety comes in many different forms—such as panic attacks, phobia, and social anxiety—and the distinction between an official diagnosis or anxiety disorders and “normal” anxiety isn’t always clear. An anxiety disorder is a serious mental illness. For people with anxiety disorders, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, and can be crippling.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most widely-used therapy for anxiety disorders. It focuses on identifying, understanding, and changing thinking and behavior patterns. Benefits are usually seen in 12 to 16 weeks, depending on the individual. In contrast, instead of changing thoughts, mindfulness-based therapies (MBTs) seek to change the relationship between the anxious person and his or her thoughts. That means anxious thoughts are still the same old wolf- and fire- and death-fearing thoughts, but you could see that they are simply that: thoughts. You don’t need to judge them, act on them or indeed do anything very much about them.
The magic of Mindfulness is that if used correctly, Mindfulness is nearly infallible for helping to alleviate stress and worry! Mindfulness is a long-established philosophical tradition. This tradition is deeply rooted in principles which are originally described in eastern philosophy. These principles have in recent years been adapted by psychotherapists who integrate some of the basic precepts of mindfulness with traditional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
So what exactly is mindfulness, and what does the practice mean to us in our daily lives? Professor of clinical psychology at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, Mark Williams defines mindfulness as knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment. In a nutshell, Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. Although mindfulness of mind is most often associated with meditation, I suggest practicing mindfulness of mind every moment.
Mindfulness is an attribute of consciousness long believed to promote well-being. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in any given moment.
A number of studies have demonstrated that mindfulness meditation for well being significantly boosts the ability to fight anxiety and stress. A lot of research results have shown that mindfulness meditation techniques can promote significant changes in brain areas associated with anxiety. Mindful self-compassion is the foundation of emotional healing-being aware in the present moment when we’re struggling with feelings of inadequacy, despair, confusion, and other forms of stress and responding with kindness and understanding. Mindfulness, sometimes also called “present-centeredness”, can help us enjoy the world more and understand ourselves better.