We spend most of our days on automatic pilot, either texting our friends or constantly checking our phones for notifications. We’re not present in our own lives and this means we could miss some really good things and also ignore some important signals about ourselves, our relationships and our health.
An important antidote to these tendencies in our over-stimulated society is to practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness means becoming more aware of our experiences. This allows us to perceive thoughts, sensations and emotions at the moment they occur without reacting in an automatic way. We learn to observe without judging or participating and the result is that we don’t feel overwhelmed and we manage to remain steady through life’s ups and downs.
Enter the infographic bellow and discover the long journey of mindfulness through the Western world that began with Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the best known Buddhist teachers, who offered a practice of mindfulness adapted to Western sensibilities and continued with Jon Kabat-Zinn, his student and a MIT-trained molecular biologist, who developed MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program) in order to help patients cope with pain, illness and stress.
Today, mindfulness has become central to mental health profession and also migrated into the rest of the society.
The infographic also points out all the relevant facts: what is mindfulness, why practice mindfulness, how to cultivate mindfulness and, of course, some useful resources in case you want to find out more about it (books and apps).