Mindfulness is an ancient technique practiced by Buddhists. However, it is said to have introduced by John Kabat-Zinn in the modern context. The term ‘Mindfulness’ corresponds to ‘Sati’ (in Pali) or ‘Smriti’ (in Sanskrit) which means to remember or to maintain awareness of reality. Hence, mindfulness is defined as a process of drawing one's attention to experiences occurring in the present moment. It has been tried and accepted by the majority of people regardless of age, gender, abilities, and religion due to its simple yet extremely effective methodology.
Mindfulness is not just another technique created to bring peace and joy in people’s life rather it is a part of our lives that we ought to practice in order to be happy, healthy and productive in all aspects. It is like meditation incorporated with specific techniques to help us separate ourselves from negative reactions we give to unfavorable situations.
Studies have proven that practicing mindfulness can bring about significant changes in the brain. A research done on brain imaging in 2014 found that there are eight specific regions of the brain that were observed to be consistently altered in people who meditate regularly. These eight regions include the areas of the brain responsible for memory, self and emotion regulation, thoughts and emotional processes, communication between different parts of the brain and many more. If observed closely, these areas perform and control some of the most essential functions such as recalling a bad memory, reacting to a particular situation and overthinking. Therefore, alteration in these specific regions of the brain can bring revolutionary changes in an individual’s personality thereby making them more calm, positive and help them control the negative reaction.
The major alterations observed in the brains of people who perform mindfulness meditation is in the region that evaluates the sensation of pain. This implies that mindfulness can completely change (lessen) the severity of emotional pain you experience which include trauma, heartbreaks, harassment and many other painful events.
We all face situations in our day to day life where we, instead of focusing on what needs to be done at that particular moment, think about what we are supposed to do in the next moment. This not only affects our attentiveness but also decreases our productivity. Mindfulness with its amazing techniques teaches us to concentrate on the present instead of the past or future allowing us to become more focused and productive.