Photo credit: Omar M. Bourne Instagram: @bigoimagery
The last year and a half, I have been buried in mindfulness research as well as talking to anyone and everyone about all things mindfulness, and gathering the best evidence to support my final capstone project for my OT doctorate.
The majority of people I spoke with had such a positive and warming association with mindfulness. On the other hand, some individuals that I spoke with brushed it off as a hot, new trend. Something all the cool kids were doing. Or, they would mock “being present in the moment”. When I would express that there are several hundreds of research articles on this topic, I was met with redirection, avoidance, and almost mockery.
As a researcher and life-long learner, I found this mindset interesting. Doesn’t everyone want to learn more about the things they may not quite understand when presented with new information, especially if there is evidence backing it up?
Mindfulness is not a hot, new trend. It has been around for centuries. In the late 70s, John Kabat-Zinn brought mindfulness to modern day practices with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programs (Kabat-Zinn, 1994). The history of mindfulness is overflowing with research and unfortunately, that history can sometimes get lost.
Remember, mindfulness is not a trend, it is a way of life. It promotes better self-efficacy to ensure you are giving your body and soul what it needs while being present in the moment.
I received a certificate in Infant Mental Health from Chatham University over 10 years ago. That was the beginning of my realization as to how important being a mindful individual was. I spent the next decade of my life, leading to present day, trying to embed mindfulness techniques in my life, however, I never quite mastered the balance.
Day 1 of my post professional occupational therapy doctoral program marked Day 1 of giving my all to my mindfulness journey. It has been just over a year that I have put 100% effort into embedding mindfulness into my daily routines. I will tell you that mindfulness is not a cure for all things. What it will do, is get you better at knowing what your body needs to maintain optional self-regulation, mental clarity, and better adaptive responses in stressful situations (Quach, Jastrowski, & Alexander, 2016).
When you increase your self-efficacy of what your brain and nervous system prefers, you can begin to engage in meaningful occupations that support the optimal regulation of your body and steer clear of the things that you know sabotage your soul.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and embracing mindfulness for your soul. Sending you all the vibes to #makeitamindfulmonday
Kabat-Zinn, J. 1994. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. New York: Hyperion.
Quach, D., Jastrowski, K., & Alexander, K. (2016). A randomized controlled trial examining the effect of mindfulness meditation on working memory capacity in adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 58(5), 489–496.