This word has been popping up often across the web and I’ve oft wondered what it meant. Because I’m an inquisitive so-and-so I read further and found out a little more.
Essentially the concept of mindfulness is rooted in Buddhist philosophy and according to our dear old omniscient chum, Google, this is their description:
- the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
- a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Before you hop on the bandwagon about the religious aspect of where mindfulness originates from, perhaps pause for thought, keeping in mind (aha) if you will the second description of the word.
The Oxford English Dictionary’s defines mindfulness as ‘quality or state of being conscious or aware of something’.
*Mindfulness has become popular in the West in recent years as a way of combating stress, anxiety and depression – the NHS lists it as one of the five steps to mental wellbeing
In 2015 the Wellcome Trust launched a major research programme in UK schools to see if mindfulness can help improve teenagers’ mental health.
Essentially, the idea of mindfulness when applied to school children, is to reduce stress and worry in children during their very busy school days. What mindfulness involves, strictly speaking, is a time-out from the busy day where the children are taught breathing techniques that allow them to be at rest and be in the moment without thinking or worrying about what they might need to know or study or focus on.
What’s your take on it? I can’t speak for the schools or the children, but in my personal capacity I can say that on my mindful strolls to the water cooler and back (yep, the water cooler lurking is not all about catching up on office skinny or making the water in the cooler gloomph) practising deep breathing techniques most definitely aid me in remaining calm and focused for the duration of the working day. Ohm mm!
*excerpts from a BBC Magazine article