Mindfulness is a buzz word that we all hear nowadays…however, mindfulness has been around forever, literally forever! My mindfulness journey started 13 years ago when I was living in New York City, and could not afford to take yoga classes at a fancy studio. So, I joined the gym I could afford, and that is where I had my first experience with yoga and meditation…attempting to sit in silence and focus on my breath while people in an aerobics class were jumping up and down and rattling metal lights right above my head. Looking back, maybe this was the perfect place to learn.
A bit about me first. I’ve been a psychotherapist for almost a decade now, have been through years of psychotherapy myself, and am a trained yoga teacher. I am in recovery from a severe anxiety disorder. My desperation to find a holistic way of reducing my anxiety led me to this yoga class 13 years ago.
The thing about mindfulness is that it is not new, it’s been around for thousands of years with its roots in Eastern traditions. I sometimes wish we could call it something else, because I think just the name itself makes it sound impossible! Who is mindful 100% of the time? No one! If it were called something else like “paying attention really well” that might not sound so daunting or impossible.
But seriously, why mindfulness? Because it works. Many studies have emerged showing that mindfulness and meditation can improve symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression; and new research is coming out regularly about other areas in which mindfulness is helpful, such as addiction treatment.
So, why don’t you give it a try?