Mindfulness-A New Trend or A New Way of Living?

As I do sometimes, I perused the magazine section in my local bookstore looking for something to catch my eye, something a little different.A�A�A�The difference this time was that the largest sub-title onA�TIME magazine was one pertaining to a topic that seemingly didn’t “fit” yet is getting increasing attention on many levels of government and in many “Fortune 500” companies (including Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the veryA�companies that increase our level of distraction by the minute!),places where years ago a topic of this type, Mindfulness, simply would not have ever been considered important, let alone appear on the cover of one of the most world-reknown and well-respected magazines.A�Rooted largely inA�Buddhism, Mindfulness,A�as Kabat-Zin describes it, is to A� “Think of your attention as a muscle.A� As with any muscle it makes sense to exercise it (in this case with meditation), and like any muscle it will strengthen from that exercise”. Mindfulness is intended to help quiet a busy mind and help one become more aware of the present moment.

Studying for exams, preparing for a presentation at your job, managing a work-life balance-all activities and states of being which demand a significant amount of attention in order toA�achieve the desired outcome. We all knowA� however, how hard it is to achieve this.A� We live in a world where it continues to become more and more difficult to think about just one thing at a time.A� “Technology has made it easier than ever to fracture attention into smaller andA�smallerA�bits…it allows us to be many places at once -but at the cost of being unable to fully inhabit the place where we actually want to be”(TIME, February 2014). Mindfulness then, becomes veryA�important.A�On a deeper level, mindfulness finds it’s strength in it’s universality-its ultimate goal is to simply give your attention fully to what you are doing, but more importantly, mindfulness is proving to be an indispensable tool for coping with the stresses ofA�dailyA�life.

Referred to as theA�father of MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction),Jon Kabat-Zinn,A�Scientist discovered theA�profound impact of mindfulnessA�on a personal level and as a result, he decided to utilize his findings on patients in his clinic in an attempt to lessen the chronic pain they were living with. He found that overall, patients reported that not only did their pain level decrease but additionally, the mindfulness training made them better able to handle the stress of living with the illness.A� As more and more scientific studies with positive correlationsA�between mindfulness and A�well-being are published , links in “NIH trials completed or now underway include studies on how MBSR affects everything fromA� social-anxiety disorder to the body’s immune response to human papilloma virus to cancer-related fatigue” (TIME , February 2014). Mindfulness and the importance of it is becoming very “mainstream”.

As students at CADH enter into a difficult and high-stress period with semester end and exams in a few weeks, here are a few tips for managing “the vices”. Follow the Five Steps to Mindfulness MeditationA� below.A�A�The research shows it reduces stress and increases focus, two great contributors to student success!

1.A� Sit cross-legged on the floor or in a chair.A� Keep your back straight and let your shoulders drop.A� Take a deep breath and close your eyes if you wish.

2.A� Notice your breath.A� Don’t change your breathing, but focus on the sensation of air moving in and out of your lungs.

3.A� As thoughts come into your mind and distract you from your breathing, acknowledge those thoughts and then retun to focusing onA�your breathing each time.

4.A� Don’t judge yourself or try to ignore distractions.A� Your job is simply to notice that your mind has wandered and to bring your attention back to your breathing.

5.A� Start by doing this 10 minutes per day for a week. The more your meditate regularly, the easier it will be to keep your attention where you want it.


1.A� Wear a watch-you will avoid picking up your phone to check the timeA�and won’t be needlessly distracted.

2.A� No phones in bed! Fully wake up before you look at any devices.

3.A� Get into Nature-take a hike and observe your surroundings.A� Resist the urge to Instagram them!

(TIME, February 2014)

Watch this video:

Mindfulness: Jon Kabat-Zinn

Good Luck CADH students!


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