What is mindfulness?
According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness is “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. It is about knowing what is on your mind”. Here is a short video to help clarify what mindfulness is all about:
What does mindfulness look like?
Practicing mindfulness can take many forms – from sitting comfortably and focusing on your breath to simply focusing your attention and being consciously aware of yourself and your surroundings.
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
1] Mindfulness improves well being
- Increasing your capacity for mindfulness supports many attitudes that contribute to a satisfied life.
- Being mindful makes it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, helps you become fully engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events.
- By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past, are less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others.
2] Mindfulness improves physical health
If greater well-being isn’t enough of an incentive, scientists have discovered the benefits of mindfulness techniques help improve physical health in a number of ways. Mindfulness can:
- help relieve stress
- treat heart disease
- lower blood pressure
- reduce chronic pain
- improve sleep
- alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties
3] Mindfulness improves mental health
In recent years, mental health professionals have turned to mindfulness meditation as an important element in the treatment of a number of problems, including:
- substance abuse
- eating disorders
- couples’ conflicts
- anxiety disorders
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
Some experts believe that mindfulness works, in part, by helping people to accept their experiences—including painful emotions—rather than react to them with aversion and avoidance.
Check out this article from Scientific American titled “What does Mindfulness Meditation do to your Brain?”
Are there opportunities to practice mindfulness on campus?
Yes! The Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at the TCNJ Spiritual Center offers mindfulness classes for both students and faculty/staff. They also have open times to meditate throughout the week.
Mindfulness practices on the web: