Mindfulness meditation technique aims at helping practitioners to quiet a busy mind, and becoming more aware of the present moment rather than worrying about the future or the past. Participants try to focus on something simple such breathing, acknowledging various thoughts and emotions but letting them pass without judging them.
Mindfulness has always been crucial part of Buddhist practice but it was popularised in the West by John Kabat-Zinn with the introduction of mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) program. Mindfulness meditation has even been applied in clinical psychology and psychiatry, were a number of therapeutic applications are based on mindfulness meditation and there are evidence that it can assist people who experiencing a variety of psychological conditions. These conditions include: obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression as well as drug addiction.
Recent clinical studies have further proved the physical and mental health benefits of mindfulness in general, and MBSR in particular. Programs based on MBSR and similar models have been widely adapted in schools, prisons, and hospitals.
Mindfulness meditation is well known in alleviating level of stress, and it seems stress is becoming the major factor in contributing to a whole range of diseases in the developed economies such as US. According to World Health Organisation the cost of stress to the American businesses is as high as 300 billion dollars. Over the last 30 years, self-reported levels of stress have increased 18 percent for women and 25 percent for men.
It seems that our increasingly busy lifestyle and lack of work life balance have a lot to do with our ever increasing levels of stress. Mindfulness meditation might not be for everyone, and it does take a little bit of practice to be able to just “switch off”, even just for a few minutes at the time. So why not try mindfulness meditation tonight, when you finally get home after your busy day, and who knows maybe you will be able to experience just a few health and well-being benefits of this fantastic meditation technique.