Mindfulness is a state of mind and can be define as being aware of or observing without judgement our own moment-to-moment experience. While mindfulness has been mostly linked to meditation, other practices such a yoga and tai chi are also performed in a mindful state of mind. Creating art while being mindful of our experience is also a mindfulness practice. The idea is to focus on training our attention and awareness in order to achieve a greater control of our mind while engaged in the activity.
Mindfulness develop specific capacity such as calmness, clarity and concentration(Walsh & Shapiro, 2006) and overall improve quality of life and well-being.
Research on mindfulness has identified these benefits:
Reduced rumination - Chambers et al. (2008)
Stress reduction - Hoffman et al. (2010)
Boosts to working memory - Jha et al. (2010)
Focus - Moore and Malinowski (2009)
Less emotional reactivity - Moore and Malinowski (2009)
More cognitive flexibility - Siegel (2007); Cahn & Polich (2006); Davidson et al. (2003)
Relationship Satisfaction - Barnes et al. (2007)
Increased immune functioning - Davidson et al. (2003)
Numerous health benefits - Grossman, Niemann, Schmidt, & Walach (2004)
Several websites and applications have being popping up online to encourage and provide support to individuals who desire to start their mindfulness practice. "CALM" app offers a huge variety of audios teaching the basic of mindfulness and guide you through short meditations.
If you are like me and tons of others, you might find difficult to sustain the practice on your own. The motivation seems to vanish along the way. Join a mindfulness group to stay motivated. Look on Meetup to connect with like minded people and get together for a mindful activity.
If you are located in Los Angeles, I will be offering different mindful workshops fall 2018 in my cosy studio. Check the Art Therapy section of my website heartfulcounseling.com for more details. The Mala, Mantra & Mindfulness Workshop will teach you how to create your personal mala and mantra as well as practicing mindfulness in a small and intimate group. If you add your name to the mailing list I will keep you updated with dates and location. Join us for a fun and fulfilling day!