“Mindfulness improves quality of life” by Harvard Medical School

Harvard Medical School promotes mindfulness. The following is an article from Harvard medical School news letter in 2004.

Mindfulness improves quality of life

JANUARY 2004

BOSTON , MA –Mounting evidence is showing that mindfulness can increase life enjoyment, expand the ability to cope with illness, and possibly improve physical and emotional health. The February issue of Harvard Women’s Health Watch takes a detailed look at how learning to focus the mind can be a healthful antidote to the stresses of everyday living.

Mindfulness is the ability to pay attention to an experience from moment to moment —without drifting into thoughts of the past or concerns about the future, or getting caught up in opinions about what’s going on.

Pay attention to your breathing or your environment when you stop at red lights. Before you go to sleep, and when you awaken, take some “mindful” breaths. Instead of allowing your mind to wander over the day’s concerns, direct your attention to your breathing. Find a task that you do impatiently or unconsciously (standing in line or brushing your teeth, for example) and concentrate on the experience. Make something that occurs several times during a day, such as answering the phone or buckling your seatbelt, a reminder to return to the present — that is, think about what you’re doing and observe yourself doing it.

Several studies have been conducted measuring the effects of mindfulness. The February issue translates findings to inform readers about how they can benefit the most from practicing mindfulness.

source: Harvard University

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