Mindfulness seems to be the newest buzzword but, like meditation and yoga, it isn’t going away—because it works! So what exactly is mindfulness? Why should we learn about it? More importantly, why should we care?
Stress and anxiety are increasing both for adults and, sadly, for children. Mindfulness allows us to open our minds to a different way of understanding the world around us— to experience our life from a different perspective, one which allows us to live day to day more peacefully and to take joy in simple, every-day moments.
Mindfulness simply means being aware of the present moment—being aware of our environment, our thoughts, our emotions, our physical sensations.
Cultivating mindfulness practices allows us to increase awareness and focus; with practice and dedication, we eventually transfer our learned skills to our everyday lives. By increasing awareness on each moment as it passes, we learn to become more responsive and less reactive—we notice, manage and control our automatic thoughts and reactions. This allows us to be more present, to enjoy the little things in life. Research shows that mindfulness has many positive effects, including reduction in stress and anxiety, greater job satisfaction, better emotional regulation, and improved concentration–all leading to healthier, more joyful relationships, and an overall sense of well-being.
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
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