About Mindfulness

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is often defined as 'paying attention on purpose with an attitude of non- judgement and acceptance.' An important element is that we don't force our mind to pay attention. It's more about a gentle attention and just noticing when the mind wanders with non-judgement and acceptance, and bringing the attention back to the task at hand over and over again.

Why is it important?

You may have noticed how modern life seems to perpetuate distraction. Think smart phones and busy schedules that illicit multi-tasking. When we're distracted and not paying attention to the present moment, we typically operate on auto pilot, or what's also known as the default network mode.

The problem with operating on the default network mode is that's where we tend to judge, self-criticise, tell ourselves stories that are not helpful and go into endless mental chatter. Research shows when we're operating on auto pilot there is also an emotional cost, in that we typically feel less happy.

Along with operating on autopilot, what's also becoming more common is an attention deficit trait. Attention deficit trait manifests when we're constantly bombarded with sensorial stimulation and demands resulting in our attention never fully being on one thing in the present moment. Instead, we tend to switch quickly between one task and another, resulting in reduced cognitive performance, and impaired work & study performance.

When you train your mind to be more mindful, you're rebuilding and strengthening your attention muscle, which improves cognitive performance and has an emotional benefit of feeling happier.
Illustration of the mind and people thinking

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is a practical, user-friendly and evidence-based course

First developed in 1979 by Emeritus Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The MBSR course has 39 years of research behind it and is globally recognised as being at the forefront of body/mind approaches to wellbeing, personal development and transformation.

On the 19 Feb 2019, Catalyst ABC TV +iview screened the 'The Mindfulness Experiment', a documentary showing the positive outcomes of 4 participants attending an MBSR course. The documentary shows how the participants were struggling with a variety of challenges including chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and bereavement. After completing the course participants talk about their improved physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. The program also shows the scientific evidence supporting their positive changes. Click here to view the 'The Mindfulness Experiment'.