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“Mindfulness is about training our mind to focus on the now without judging thoughts and sensations“– Paul Ebeling
In our fast-paced, multitasking world, focusing on anything for more than a few moments at a time can be challenging. But learning to focus your attention on the present moment (now) can have benefits that affect not only our attention span but also our health.
A practice called mindfulness has become a popular meditation technique for everything from stress reduction to chronic pain management, including treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties.
“It’s the mind-body effect that’s getting a lot of press and research, and for good reason. It works, and there’s scientific support behind that,” says Harvard Medical School professor Dr. Herbert Benson, a pioneer and world-renowned expert on the physiological changes that occur during meditation.
Mindfulness is not so much a tool for self-improvement, but a way of relating to our lives in a spirit of awareness, openness and kindness.
Jon Kabat Zinn, creator of the mindfulness-based stress reduction program explains that “mindfulness is not a technique. It is a way of being, a way of seeing, a way of knowing.”
Mindfulness nurtures a process of unfolding, of allowing things to settle, so that that well-being might emerge from coming into flow with how things are, even when that is not how we would like them to be.
This kind of awareness can be the ground for more skillful decision-making and behavior. As when we let go of the tension created by struggling to be better or healthier, the need for our problems to have a cure no longer seems quite so relevant, and at that point we might start to feel a lot better.
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