We’ve all heard of Mindfulness - most of us would describe it as ‘being in the moment’. But what does that mean, and why would that be helpful with emotional issues?
Yes, as Jon Kabat-Zinn described it, it is indeed "Bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis”. But, moreover, it brings the attention to the present moment non-judgementally - without the typical struggle that it should be another way, or the tendency for our minds to ‘live in the future’. As one brings their awareness to the present moment, feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations are calmly observed, acknowledged and yes, accepted. And that’s how peace begins.
There is a saying attributed to Lao Tzu “If you’re depressed you’re living in the past, if you’re anxious you’re living in the future, if you are at peace you are living in the present.”
Research in many fields and for many different groups bears this out – Mindfulness has been shown to enhance peace, self-acceptance, general and emotional well-being, and a greater sense of being connected to yourself, your world and your loved ones. Through neuro-imaging techniques, we now know that Mindfulness changes the brain to foster not only better attentional regulation (such as one would have when meditating), but also enhanced emotional regulation. That means better ability to counteract stress, negative thinking, incessant worry and ruminations, and general anxiety. It can also improve depression and sadness and enhance self-acceptance and even compassion.
In our practice, we aim to make Mindfulness practically applicable to your life. Mindfulness and Mindful Meditation is taught in individual sessions, with most people noting that it changed their lives and brought more peace and joy.