Keeping your attention in the present moment could be one of the most useful skills you ever acquire to cope with all the challenges we face on a daily basis. All it takes is a thorough look at your thought-life and the paradigms (or belief patterns) you keep, and some effort to unlearn bad habits and train yourself in better, new ones. Ellen Langner researched mindfulness for nearly 40 years and gives the following definition and description: “Mindfulness is the process of actively noticing new things. When you do that, it puts you in the present. It makes you more sensitive to context and perspective. It’s the essence of engagement.” Generally speaking, mindfulness is a technique of deliberately focusing your attention on the present. In general, mindfulness was popularised in the East by religious and spiritual institutions, while in the West its popularity can be traced to particular people and secular institutions. Mindfulness has gained traction in the West as a counselling and psychotherapy tool. Kabat-Zinn has been researching the effects of mindfulness on the brain over the past twenty years. As a result of his rigorous work, and that of others, we can now see how the practice of mindfulness can alter the brain at a chemical level, and ultimately even change the anatomy of the brain, to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
At the end of Part 1 of the Living in the Moment through Mindfulness course, you should: