Covid-19 has boosted the practice of Mindfulness. Faced with crisis, uncertainty, and confinement, many, many people have turned to meditation courses and activities to deal with stress and their emotions. Months ago the WHO warned that the pandemic would have direct consequences on mental health around the world. When we Google the word Mindfulness we get a multitude of results and very different practices that may lead us to wonder what exactly it is.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of intentionally concentrating attention on the present moment without judgment, an ability that, according to its practitioners, is acquired through meditation and training activities. Mindfulness has its origins in Buddhist practices but has become popular without religious elements. This exercise aims to improve both physical and emotional health and well-being.

Although there are a variety of ways to practice it, most have in common this focus on the ability to pay attention in the present in order not to lose focus and to concentrate more easily. They also promote attitudes of curiosity, openness, and acceptance to face the different challenges of everyday life.

It was Jon Kabat-Zinn who made Mindfulness fashionable in the western world, with the publication of his program: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Today, it is everywhere. For example, companies use it to increase the productivity of their employees. In the same way, schools also prepare activities of this type to help students to be more concentrated and to achieve better academic results.

The rise of Mindfulness

This renewed interest in Mindfulness has also led to a boom in apps that work on mental wellbeing. Many people practice it from home, which is why they often integrate these practices into their daily lives through apps or YouTube videos.

It may be that the normalization of mental health and the growing concern to lead a healthy life also on an emotional level is an important factor in the rise of meditation. Years ago, mental illness was taboo, much more so than today. Mental health has climbed up the list of people’s priorities, more and more people talk about it openly, and seeking psychological help is normalized.

Always consult professionals if necessary

Mindfulness may not be suitable for everyone. These activities have moderate effects, can help prevent psychological problems, and are useful for general well-being, but in no case are they a substitute for the professional help from a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Mindfulness in the workplace

The fact that Mindfulness is mostly applied in the work environment is due to widespread stress in the workplace. These techniques can help reduce stress and increase productivity. In the last UNIR Project debate, mental health was discussed, specifically work-related stress, its causes, and ways to deal with it.

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