The term “mindful” gets thrown around an awful lot, but what exactly does it mean? Well, mindfulness refers to the act of focusing your attention on the present moment. For thousands of years, humans have employed mindfulness as a means of healing and spiritual enlightenment (Montero-Marin et al., 2019). Today, we are going to break it down!
In the late 1970s, Dr. Kabat-zinn introduced many western healthcare practitioners to “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction” (MBSR) as a treatment for anxiety. This treatment has since been used to treat anxiety, depression, and PTSD with a lot of success. Subjects who practiced MBSR showed significantly lower levels of clinical symptoms as well as a reduction in hormones related to stress (Hoge et al., 2013; Hoge et al., 2019). Neuroimaging studies have shown altered brain activation patterns in areas involving focused attention and emotionality (Marchand, 2014)
The best part about mindfulness and meditative practices is that they can be done for free whenever and wherever you want! During this pandemic, cost-effective and safe treatment can feel incredibly hard to come by. This compounds the fact that being in a pandemic is incredibly stressful and upsetting! By incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine, you can take steps to feeling healthier and happier, safely from your home!