An Introduction to Mindfulness | What it is and Where it Came From

Mindfulness.

Um, what?

(Common thoughts I had about the topic of mindfulness:)

  • What the heck is this?
  • Ha, I look so funny.
  • Breathing is weird.
  • Ohmagawd, I’m going to sound like I’m hyperventilating.
  • Um… no.
  • That’s different.
  • That’s weird.
  • What. Is. The. Point.
  • I don’t have time for this.

You get the gist.

But now that I’ve learned more about it, I’m eager to stop refuting it as pointless (yes, that’s harsh, I know) and share what I’ve learned about it with you, and hopefully we adopt some of it into our lifestyles together.

To help me accurately write this post, I’ll be pulling an excerpt from a variety of books centered around the subject.

(this is not sponsored, I just like the books)

What is Mindfulness?

Anna Barnes, author of How to Be Mindful, describes mindfulness in her book as “focusing on the magic of the present moment. This simple practice is immensely powerful… As… mindfulness encourages us to… embrace acceptance and gratitude… allows us to tap into the joy and wonder in our lives, and to listen to the wisdom of our hearts” (Barnes 5).

Basically, the goal of mindfulness is to live a more fulfilling, focused life.

And that is pretty cool.

Origin of the Mindfulness Ideaology

Regarding modern times, a man by the name of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn is considered the “father” of mindfulness. An American professor, he founded the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program in 1979 that helped pave the way for Mindfulness to be taken seriously (in America, at least). The idea of being mindful can be traced back to the early teachings of Buddha though, who taught and practiced mindfulness and meditation to attain freedom from suffering. Dr. Kabat-Zinn revealed that his program is based upon Vipassana, a type of Buddhist meditation.

You may also be wondering why mindfulness is so popular, seemingly all of a sudden too. Likely causes for its increase in popularity is that it provides relief and peace from the stress of everyday life, and not to mention that scientists have recently begun contributing large amounts of research on the practice.

How to be Mindful?

It’s not just about breathing and/or meditating (though meditation is an important part of it.)

Shocking, I know. It’s about incorporating deliberate actions into your everyday life, about focusing on the present moment that is your life, about practicing this art every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes at first.

It’s about your life, and you choose how you want to live it.

**For more information, I recommend a visit to reputable mindfulness sites, such as https://www.mindful.org/, and purchasing books on the subject as well (and of course, visit my own blog for more information too. 😉 )

If you enjoyed this introduction to Mindfulness, the next article on how to be mindful will be posted shortly. Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading! ❤

2 thoughts on “An Introduction to Mindfulness | What it is and Where it Came From

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