The popularity of mindfulness in the western world has skyrocketed in recent years. It’s on the cover of magazines and appears on the evening news. Celebrities swear by it, scientists study it, monks still practice it and business leaders use it to thwart burnout.
As mindfulness becomes a buzzword in our modern world, its meaning has grown increasingly murky. So what, exactly, is it? Mindfulness is not a new idea. Core to Buddhism, the concept can be traced as far back as the fifth century BC, when it appeared in the 37 Factors of Enlightenment—the Buddha’s most essential teachings. Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, a professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, offers one of the most widely-used definitions of mindfulness: “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.”
Since then, mindfulness has been a topic of extensive research, much of which suggests that the practice has considerable physical and mental health-related benefits.
A major theme in mindfulness research is its effects on mood-related disturbances and anxiety: mindfulness-based therapies have been shown to reduce rates of depressive relapse, and a recent meta-analysis found that mindfulness meditation programs were associated with reduced anxiety, depression and pain. READ MORE AT FORBES