According to the founder of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programme (MBSR), Dr. Jon Kabatt-Zinn, mindfulness is:
Paying attention, in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally.
Jon Kabatt-Zinn created the MBSR course in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Stress Reduction Clinic to support patients suffering stress, pain and chronic illness. The course is a skillful mind and body approach to well-being integrating ancient Eastern practices and Western neuroscience.
Happy and Healthy: Mindfulness Training Activates Left Pre-frontal ‘Cortex and Increases Immunity: Read Article
Mental and Emotional Clarity under Fire: Mindfulness Enhances Memory and Emotions of US Marines: Read Article
Mindfulness helps Mental Health in the Workplace: Read Article
Mindfulness for Work, Health, Education and Justice Settings: UK Government Interim Report: Mindful Nation: Read Article
The Benefits of Mindfulness for Children and Young People in School Settings: Read Article
The Implementation of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy: Learning from the UK Health Service Experience: Read Article
Almost 40 years later, there has been a rapid increase in research exploring the effectiveness of mindfulness in a variety of settings and situations.
Some of the research suggests:
- Mindfulness courses can be helpful as a single treatment to manage stress in individuals who do not experience mental ill health, as well as a joint intervention with other treatments for people who have symptoms of anxiety
- Mindfulness has an increasingly strong evidence base in a variety of settings and is recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) in treating depression with Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) a variation of the original MBSR course.
- MBSR in the workplace can decrease perceived stress, and increase concentration levels, including memory tasks and multi-tasking
(W R Marchand, “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, and Zen Meditation for Depression, Anxiety, Pain, and Psychological Distress”, 2012).
Benefits of Mindfulness
A mindfulness course can teach you how to engage with the present moment and reclaim your life as you learn:
- To get more out of ordinary moments of your life
- Ease aches and pains as you re-connect to your body and breath through gentle movement and mindful breathing
- Learn how to deal with difficulty in a more skillful way and enhance your personal resiliency
- Pro-actively explore ways to discharge stress and cultivate more peace and well-being
As a provider of mindfulness courses for individuals, the public, organisations and within the education sector we adhere to the Good Practice Guidelines for Teachers.
Find out more about upcoming courses here.
Photo credit: Richard & Dan George for BBC