What is Mindfulness?
There are many ways to define mindfulness. One of the most oft-cited definitions is from the father of modern mindfulness himself, Jon Kabat-Zinn. He says, "Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
Mindfulness operates in conjunction with awareness, therefore being mindful is being aware that one is aware. Hence the ability to respond appropriately, rather than automatically react when one is met with a stressful situation, is more likely as a result of recognizing the space that exists between event and response.
“Between stimulus and response there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Results from scientific studies have revealed that mindfulness practice can be beneficial for a host of physical and psychological conditions, including improved psychological, neurological, immunological and endocrine functioning. In the field of neuroscience results have been very promising, showing that over time structural and functional changes can occur in the brain – changes that indicate increases in attention capacity and emotional self-regulation, to name a few.
For more information on the latest MBSR research, visit www.umassmed.edu/cfm.