The History of Mindfulness

bambooMindfulness techniques stem from the Buddhist practice of meditation originating about 2500 years ago. Mindfulness meditation was used widely for spiritual and intellectual development, to strengthen concentration, unlock human potential, and reach a state of inner peace.

In modern times these practices have been investigated scientifically for their medical and psychological benefits. There is a great deal of evidence from large samples of the population indicating that mindfulness techniques and meditation (and yoga, which involves both movement and meditation) successfully reduce many psychological symptoms and improve some physical health indicators also.

Mindfulness in the Modern World

Many of us lead fast-paced lives balancing multiple responsibilities. Study, work, relationships, sport, shopping, the maze of gadgets we use, and family priorities can split our attention and force us into a confusing and challenging mental juggling act. This limits our ability to attend to what is really important and to enjoy our here and now. We often generate counterproductive thought and emotional patterns as a result of our modern lifestyle, leading to withdrawal from the people we love and things we enjoy (hence why success and money do not equate to happiness).

This is a common cause of anxiety and depression, as chasing calmness, satisfaction, or happiness becomes an uphill battle in a world where time can seem so scarce. We can easily lose touch with the here and now, the things we can control, the simple joys and fun in life, and the things that are most important to us (such as family, personal development, exercise, etc.).

Many of us have thought of meditation as a form of self-help and even tried it out but may feel that, short of shaving your head and becoming a monk, it does not match well with the ‘real world’. Mindfulness techniques can be adapted to suit the individual and are broader than meditation, encompassing several types of activity.

Abra GarfieldAuthor: Abra Garfield, Performance Psychologist BSc (Hon), MPsych (sport and exercise).

To make an appointment with Abra Garfield try Online Booking – Loganholme or call M1 Psychology (Loganholme) on (07) 3067 9129.