“The only way to change the future is by changing how willing you are to be in the present.”
-Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness is the practice of staying in the present moment, with noncritical, nonjudgmental attention. Mindfulness brings our mind and body into balance by quieting the parts of our nervous system that react to stress and allowing us to respond with clarity, efficiency and focus. There are so many reasons to embrace mindfulness, especially its accessibility as it can be practiced anywhere and at any time.

Why are mindfulness skills important?

  1. To help you focus on one thing at a time in the present moment, and by doing this you can better regulate emotions and prevent burnout
  2. To help you learn to identify and separate judgmental thoughts from your experiences. Judgmental thoughts often fuel your overwhelming emotions
  3. To help you to make healthy decisions about your life based on both your rational thoughts and your emotions

Mindfulness is not a fad or a hip trend. In fact, mindfulness is a key component of successful businesses such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Aetna; is an integral part of chronic pain relief and many other medical and behavioral healthcare treatments (e.g., MBSR, MBCT); and is a core teaching in social-emotional educational curriculums. At SelfWorks, we can incorporate mindfulness into your existing treatment or supplement your therapy with mindfulness coaching.

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to see if mindfulness training can benefit you:

  • I feel myself get tense, thinking about something I have on my calendar or to do list
  • I wish I could be less connected to my smartphone, social media, etc.
  • I become distracted during conversations and miss what others tell me
  • I want to say something important to a colleague(s) but am overwhelmed by the quick-paced nature of my work environment and never say what I want
  • I have a hard time bouncing back from setbacks
  • I would rather avoid what I am feeling than face it
  • I tend to overthink and focus on what others’ perceptions are
  • My goals are blocked by my fears
  • I feel anxious or panicked thinking about difficult social situations
  • I have chronic pain which has not been helped by previous treatments

One could argue that mindfulness is not so much a treatment as it is a way of life. For inspiration to start your mindfulness practice or expand your existing one, check out these interviews with leading minds in the field: Deepak Chopra, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Daniel Goleman, Richard Davidson, Dan Harris, Sharon Salzberg, and our SelfWorks founder Amy Vigliotti.

Dr. Deepak Chopra, world renowned expert in mind-body healing and founder of the Chopra Foundation, introduces us to the peaceful state one can achieve with mindfulness. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), follows with the various ways mindfulness can offer us “degrees of freedom” that help us navigate life.

Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, discusses how meditation “strengthens the neural circuitry for paying attention” and Richard Davidson, Founder and Chair of Center for Healthy Minds, shares neuroscientific research showing noticeable changes in the brain after only two weeks of meditation.

As a self-described “fidgety skeptic,” news anchor Dan Harris describes his apprehension for mindfulness meditation – thinking it was only for “freaks and hippies.” Now, with a better understanding of its underlying science, he has adopted mindfulness and found it to be a simple yet helpful practice.

Jon Kabat-Zinn outlines how much mindfulness centers oneself into the present and how that colors the future.

Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness Meditation, discusses how love can be the secret ingredient to mindfulness. “To really have an open mind, you need an open heart.”

Psychologist and founder of SelfWorks, Amy Vigliotti, tells us how blending mindfulness with therapy can help relieve anxiety and depression. “What mindfulness and meditation does is relieve those top layers of suffering” which can be helpful in allowing both a therapist and client to get to what’s really happening in the present.


Ready to grab your mindful moment? Listen to these guided exercises from Unwind: Guided Relaxation (also available free on Spotify). Just 10 minutes a day can be restorative and productive!




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