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What is Mindfulness?

Did you know that Mindfulness is the practice of observing your experience in a nonjudgmental, compassionate, and accepting manner. It begins with mind awareness, paying attention to every experience from moment to moment. Practicing the art of mindfulness takes time. You can be mindful of your inner thoughts or worlds. The inner world consist of your body, thoughts, and emotions.


When practicing mindfulness, you will have thoughts, and emotions, both painful and pleasant. This will help you to recognize your own biases and gain a fresher, clearer picture of your present moment. You will learn to avoid the negative emotions and thoughts that often create painful memories. Breathing deeply, counting your breaths, or listening to your heart beat per second can be the first step toward Mindfulness. Sit quietly and listen!


In clinical studies, mindfulness has been shown to significantly reduce anxiety and panic (Kabat-Zinn et al 1992, depression, anger, and confusion among cancer patients (Speca et al.1995), and chronic pain (Kabat-Zinn et al. 1986). Mindfulness was developed centuries ago in Asia, as a central technique in several types of meditation.


References:

Kabit-Zinn, J., L. Lipworth, R. Burney, and W. Sellers. 1986. Four year follow-up of medication-based program for the self regulation of chronic pain: Treatment outcomes and compliance. Clinical Journal of Pain 2:159-173.


Kabit-Zinn, J., A.O. Massion, J. Kristeller, L.G. Peterson, K. Fletcher, L. Pbert, W. Linkerking, and S.F. Santorelli. 1992. Effectiveness of meditation-based stress reduction program in the treatment of anxiety disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry 149:936-943.




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