Mindfulness has its roots in ancient wisdom and philosophy dating back 2,500 years. Jon Kabat–Zinn, a contemporary teacher of mindfulness, defines it as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose in the present moment and non-judgmentally”. He developed a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course in the late 1970s at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. Mindfulness teaches us to direct our attention to what is happening right here, right now, with an attitude of kindness towards ourselves and our experience. The course combines mindful meditations, bodily awareness and gentle exercise to support people in becoming more mindful.
Clinical research has shown that many people benefit from mindfulness and experience stress reduction, greater well-being and improvements in the quality of their life. It helps to calm the mind and body and live more in the present moment without getting lost in regrets about the past or anxieties about the future. The meditation practices in mindfulness can help people to cope better with everyday life and with whatever they experience. In an educational context it has been shown to improve concentration and performance.