When you’re mindful, you are aware of your thoughts and feelings as they are happening, without judging them as good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness allows you to live in the moment and be fully aware of your experiences.
Mindfulness is achieved through regular practice. It simply involves sitting still and observing the inner workings of your mind, often while guided by an instructor. It starts out simply by being mindful of your breath, and then advances to helping you become aware of your thoughts and feelings so that you can learn to respond with awareness, rather than react impulsively.
With regular practice mindfulness provides a space between your thoughts, emotions, urges, or impulses and your reactions to them so that you can respond in line with your values. Research has shown that people who practice mindfulness regularly* experience the following benefits:
- Increased attention and decreased hyperactivity and impulsivity
- Increased executive function (working memory, planning, and organization)
- Fewer conduct and anger management problems
- Increased emotional regulation and self-calming
- Increased social skills and social compliance
- Decreased anxiety and depression
- Overall less emotional distress
- More positive states of mind
- Better quality of life
- Lower blood pressure
- Increased sense of calmness, relaxation and quality of sleep
- Increased self-acceptance
*Most research is conducted on those who have practiced mindfulness daily (or almost daily) for 6-8 weeks. These benefits will usually not be seen after one practice, or even a regular weekly practice.
We offer 6-8 week mindfulness courses throughout the year for children, teens, adults, and mental health professionals. We also lead classes and do workshops for businesses, schools, sports teams, and other organizations upon request. See the Mindfulness Courses tab for more information about the classes that are enrolling now, or contact Dr. Laura Chackes at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss options for a personalized course, workshop, or presentation for your organization.