What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a way of being in the world, an intentional practice of being aware of moment to moment experience, noticing thoughts, emotions, and sensations in a kind and curious way. In noticing, one can choose to pause, call upon informal and formal mindfulness practices (tools, resources), to move towards responding versus the habitual pattern of reacting to stress.
In the practice of mindfulness, one may or may not be familiar with noticing the thoughts, emotions and sensations that are present moment to moment, thus this is an exploration, a practice, as one tends to inform the other. Perhaps a sensation arises in the body, followed spontaneously by a thought, a storyline perhaps, and then perhaps, a related emotion arises.
In noticing thoughts, the nature of the mind is witnessed. Thinking, planning, rehearsing the future, rehashing the past. The practice is to gently guide the attention back to the present moment, over and over again, to what is here now, over and over again.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, defines mindfulness as the awarenesss that arises when you “pay attention, in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally”.
Jon developed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at the UMASS Center for Mindfulness in 1979.
Benefits of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Course
- Increase ability to manage and cope with stress
- Enhance ability to navigate and manage health problems and challenges
- Increase in mental focus and clarity
- Develop skills for self-care and participatory health care
- Enhance communication through the practice of mindful speaking and listening
Benefits are not guaranteed and may vary with each participant. The MBSR course is not intended as a substitute for traditional medical care.
Evidence-based research supports MBSR as an effective complement to traditional medical care in a myriad of conditions. Below is a partial listing of conditions that may benefit from the practice of mindfulness.
About Margaret McGann
Margaret M. McGann, MA, LCPC, E-RYT 500+, MSN, CSN, RN
Margaret is the founding Director of Midwest Mindfulness, LLC. Margaret was awarded her Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher Certification from the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society™ (CFM) at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Margaret is a Certified Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness Practitioner through her studies and work with David Treleaven.
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