What is mindfulness and mindfulness meditation?
Over the centuries, individuals have described mindfulness in a variety of ways. Some practitioners have suggested that the best way to describe mindfulness is to experience it through a practice of mindfulness meditations and techniques. As an individual develops their individual practice and techniques they begin to better understand and realize the benefits. The individual becomes more focused, aware and attentive to their actual experiences. During the past several decades, mental health professionals have seen the benefits and rewards for their clients.
Therapists have helped clients to develop both formal mindfulness meditation practice as well as brief mindfulness interventions such as mindful eating, walking and listening. Research has shown that mindfulness has helped to reduce thought rumination and lower stress. Individuals demonstrate less emotional reactivity, develop cognitive flexibility and improved emotion regulation. In general, mindfulness creates a better quality of life with richer experiences.
Counselors are utilizing mindfulness interventions to support therapeutic approaches in treating depression, anxiety, trauma and addiction. Therapists are routinely using mindfulness for individuals and couples experiencing relational conflicts. There are numerous resources available to help individuals to develop both formal and informal mindfulness practices. Authors such as Jon Kabat-Zinn, Daniel J. Siegel, Thick Nhat Hanh, Sharon Salzberg, Tara Brach, and Chade-Meng Tan have contributed immensely to the development of mindfulness. These authors have a wealth of writings to help and support individuals in the development of a mindfulness practice. Additional resources include trained therapists and counselors as well as mindfulness apps for phones titled “Stop Breathe and Think” and “Mindfulness Studio”.