Since Jon Kabat-Zinn appeared on Bill Moyers in 1993, research on the applications of mindfulness has soared exponentially. His Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program has splintered off into Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for depressive relapse, Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) for addiction, MB-EAT for eating disorders and many more.
There is absolutely a revolution happening right now, and there likely couldn't be a more perfect time. Corporations across the country are becoming increasingly interested in the applications of mindfulness to the workplace: In March 2011, Google, Facebook, Intel, Twitter and many more took part in the Wisdom 2.0 conference, curious about how to integrate this into their work environments. I designed a 12-week mindfulness-at-work program that Aetna is offering through Emindful.com, and I currently have an iPhone application that is being used as the pilot for a 21-day mindfulness program. Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio is bringing mindfulness into politics. Phil Jackson brings it to the Lakers. Every day it seems that a new blog is created or a new book is launched on the topic.
In one chapter of "The Mindfulness Revolution," Norman Fischer, principal meditation teacher at Google's mindfulness program, gives us some practices to maintain mindfulness throughout the day:
Taking three conscious breaths -- just three! -- from time to time to interrupt your busy activity with a moment or two of calm awareness.
Keeping mindfulness slogan cards around your office or home to remind you to "Breathe" or "Pay Attention" or "Think Again."
Training yourself through repetition to apply a phrase like "Is that really true?" to develop the habit of questioning your assumptions before you run with them.
Whenever you get up to walk somewhere during the day, practiced mindful walking -- noticing your weight as it touches the ground with each swing of your leg and footfall.
Instituting the habit of starting your day by returning to your best intention, what you aspire to for yourself and others when you have a benevolent frame of mind.
Mindfulness is now being talked about as a catalyst for emotional intelligence, which has applications in politics, business, sports, education, health care and so many other places.
Go ahead: try one of these suggestions today. What would happen if you actually brought a bit more mindfulness into your life?
As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.
This post is adapted from a piece on mindfulness and psychotherapy at Psychcentral.com. Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is co-author of "A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook." You may also find him at www.elishagoldstein.com.