More about Mindfulness
The roots of mindfulness go back 2,500 years to the insights into perception and consciousness uncovered by the ancient scholars of Buddhist psychology. However we are indebted to Jon Kabat-Zinn for its present, completely secular, evidence based form. Forty years ago, he started the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre, mainly for patients suffering from chronic pain and untreatable conditions. Its success spread, and mindfulness became the object of many thousands of clinical studies in the field of medicine, neuroscience and neuropsychology.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is now an internationally recognised, evidence based approach to stress and and stress related conditions. It is widely used all over the world in hospitals, medical centres, public programmes, primary and secondary schools, universities and the corporate workplace.
Who is it for?
It is because mindfulness works that it’s being used in so many different contexts. Here are just a few examples:
The US Marine Corps uses it to help soldiers with mental flexibility and clarity, as well as emotional stability under pressure.
The UK NHS uses it as a front-line treatment for the prevention of depression relapse. Applications of mindfulness are being used to help those suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and addiction.
Many corporations such as Barclays and UBS are providing it for their employees, to enhance wellbeing and performance as well as interpersonal relationships in the workplace. Imperial College and IE Madrid have mindfulness based programmes for business strategy and leadership. Google has a permanent mindfulness teacher who trains the work team in mindfulness practices to increase motivation and enjoyment, and to deal skilfully with the daily stresses and difficulties of the workplace.
(Currently, Dr Antoine Lutz, eminent neuroscientist and director of research at the French Medical Research Institute INSERM, and Dr Eric Loucks, Associate professor of epidemiology, Behavioural and Social Sciences and Medicine at Brown University are each conducting studies to investigate how mindfulness can impact ageing and age related disease.)
It can benefit
anyone who suffers from stress including chronic stress (with effects such as poor concentration, irritability, hypertension, poor sleep), anxiety or anxiety related disorders (nervousness or panic attacks) or chronic pain.
anyone who would like to improve their coping strategies relating to anger, fear and low mood.
anyone who would like to develop their energy levels and motivation in a sustainable way.
anyone who would like to improve their general wellbeing and capacity to enjoy life.