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Benefits of Mindfulness

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Benefits of Mindfulness

•Mindfulness fosters a greater, fuller present moment experience.
•Mindfulness helps decrease stress, depression, anger and pain.
•You can learn to practice mindfulness in therapy, classes, or from an app.

Mindfulness is being present in the moment with total internal and external awareness and without judgment.  The therapeutic usage of mindfulness concepts was developed in the late 1970s by Jon Kabat-Zinn in his work to reduce stress in chronically ill people.  Mindfulness techniques have been effective in helping people with depression, attention, self-esteem, pain, sleep, and anger.  
Mindfulness practice teaches you to slow down and be more fully present in the moment.  You get in touch with what is happening inside and outside you in the place and in the moment where you are.  What do your senses tell you?  What do you notice?  What curiosity arises in you?  This practice is only about observation and doing so without judgment.  You should notice what you see, hear, smell or feel physically.  You may also notice thoughts or feelings but they should also only be observed like clouds floating through the sky, not judged or having meaning assigned to them.  You learn to let thoughts and feelings be just that and not facts.  Mindfulness can be practiced even just taking a walk on a nice day or in some other comfortable, familiar setting or activity.  
Mindfulness challenges our automatic judgmental patterns and encourages acceptance.  With practice, we can see things are often neutral rather than positive or negative.  Using this insight, we can learn to be accepting of neutral or use more informed choices to make things more positive.  Mindfulness can help us get unstuck from feelings or thoughts that are upsetting, move us from worrying or ruminating toward a more calm and balanced way of being.  This practice helps us know ourselves better.  It allows us to shift from judging ourselves to accepting ourselves.  We can move from an auto pilot to observing life non-judgmentally and then living more fully in the present.  
Mindfulness skills can be learned in counseling, classes, or even from apps.  Daily activities such as walking and eating can incorporate mindfulness.  Many people also use mindfulness in their meditation practice.  
Studies show many benefits from a regular mindfulness practice.  A 20-minute daily practice is optimal.  With regular practice, studies have shown mindfulness can help you to help increase attention and the efficacy of medical treatments as well as foster improved school and work performance.