Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way:
on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgementally
“Moment by moment non-judgemental awareness”
Mindfulness is a practise first developed for a therapeutic setting by Dr Jon Kabat-Zim.
It was originally developed for patients who had experienced multiple bouts of depression and has been clinically proven to halve the risk of depression in people who are suffering from the condition. Research shows that with regular daily practise, with purpose and intent, it can be at least as effective as antidepressants. Mindfulness practice can also be used to treat anxiety.
Its roots are in Vipassana meditation. The word Vipassana means “insight” or “seeing things as they truly are.”
In essence, Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention focussed on the present where one observes one’s thoughts and feelings with a sense of being impersonal and detached. This is done with compassion, curiosity, non-judgement and acceptance. It leads us to awareness, acceptance and action, three important elements in changing ourselves.
Incorporating Mindfulness into CBT can be of great help in stabilising ourselves, if we feel anxious or depressed. It also allows us to focus and concentrate on moving from the unhealthy to healthy beliefs that bring about change.
Bringing Mindfulness into everyday life, even if we are not disturbed, provides a welcome “circuit break”, “time out” or respite from overthinking, procrastination and general stress. Something we can all do with at times.