What Is Mindfulness?

To understand the value of our courses, it’s helpful to look at a basic definition of mindfulness, and how it has proved to be an effective tool for prevention, addressing issues at their root before they become more challenging to change.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a particular way of paying attention. It is the mental faculty of purposefully bringing awareness to one’s experience. Mindfulness can be applied to sensory experience, thoughts, and emotions by using sustained attention and noticing our experience without reacting.

Mindfulness creates space, changing impulsive reactions to thoughtful responses.

Mindfulness Explanation

We help to grow this space, enabling new, wiser responses that improve attention, learning, emotional regulation, empathy, and conflict resolution.

Introduced into medicine thirty years ago by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, mindfulness has become a successful mainstream influence in medicine, psychology, corporate environments, and now education.

Thirty years of research and, more recently, brain science, offer compelling evidence to support the use of mindfulness in education. The application of mindfulness by students and educators has the potential to improve academic achievement, mental health, and inter- and intra-personal relationships.

If you want to learn mindfulness or to teach it to youth, please see our courses.

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Monthly Mindfulness Article Highlights

MS Newsletter (103x140)Our complimentary, concise monthly newsletter includes a summary of recent mindfulness articles & research, stories from educators, new offerings, 10% off our courses, upcoming conferences, and much more.

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Our Mindfulness Fundamentals Course

For an introduction to mindfulness, try our 6-week online Mindfulness Fundamentals course (recommended by 98% of graduates), which has helped people from 50 states and 60 countries reduce stress, increase empathy, and learn the science behind mindfulness.

Mindfulness Studies

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has been used for over 30 years, pioneered in 1979 by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and others at the Center for Mindfulness (CFM) at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMass).

Mindfulness-based treatments are practiced as a form of complementary medicine in over 250 hospitals and Universities around the world, and are currently the focus of numerous research studies funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the National Institute of Health (NIH), just to name a few.

The mindfulness movement is rapidly gaining momentum, with an increasing number of articles on its benefits appearing in the mainstream media.

Numerous studies have shown that mindfulness is a powerful tool for combating multiple mental and physical problems and disorders, for example, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Mood and Anxiety Disorders.

In a recent study of 102 adolescents being treated for mental health problems in an outpatient psychiatric clinic, almost 80% were no longer diagnosed with one or more of their mental health diagnosis(es) after an 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Teens (MBSR-T) program. [Study published by Gina Biegel, MFT in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology,10/09. To read the study, click here.]

We recently released early results from the largest study on mindfulness and children to date, involving 915 children and 47 teachers in 3 Oakland public schools.

For a review of other mindfulness-based research studies to date on Pre-K through 12th grade children, click here.

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Benefits of Mindfulness

Benefits of Mindfulness The benefits of mindfulness are manifold:
  • Better focus and concentration
  • Increased sense of calm
  • Decreased stress & anxiety
  • Enhanced health
  • Improved impulse control
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Skillful responses to difficult emotions
  • Increased empathy and understanding of others
  • Development of natural conflict resolution skills

Applications of Mindfulness

Applications of Mindfulness Mindfulness gives children access to some of the same techniques that the world’s top athletes, speakers, and musicians use to perform at their best under pressure-filled circumstances like:
  • Test Taking
  • Public speaking
  • Sports
  • Music
  • Peer Interactions
  • Family life