Does Mindfulness Matter?

Over the past few years, mindfulness has increasingly become a hot topic for personal development and well-being.

Adopted and adapted from Buddhism, the aim of mindfulness is to alleviate stress, develop the habit of being more aware and alert, and often, to be more “present” in the here and now.

From its spiritual and religious origins, mindfulness has now been developed as a tool for anyone and everyone to maintain their mental health, their well-being, to improve their work performance and their overall happiness in life.

With such a surge in the importance of mindfulness, we were interested to understand how the practice might help coaching clients- or whether it is really worth the hype.

What are the benefits of mindfulness?

There are many claimed benefits of practicing mindfulness. The most prominent is that it can help to reduce stress, to problem solve and increase cognitive ability.

In fact, the Health Psychology journal published a study in 2013 which showed how practicing mindfulness meditation can not only help us feel less stressed, but can also reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone

Research conducted by University of Oregon also found that integrative body-mind training, a form of mindfulness meditation, can actually promote a change in the brain, and so may help to prevent mental illness and help us to subconsciously regulate our emotions and attention. That’s added to an increased self-awareness.

Coaching and Mindfulness?

Mindfulness within coaching can help to encourage ‘flow’ within a coaching session- helping both the coach and the client to “be” in the moment. The other benefit of mindfulness is that it trains the mind to notice distractions and then let them go. This can help the coach to truly focus on the client- to acutely notice what is being said- and not being said.

How much does mindfulness really matter?

Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, said:

“It is not that mindfulness is the “answer” to all life’s problems. Rather, it is that all life’s problems can be seen more clearly through the lens of a clear mind”

It’s not possible to touch on the whole debate as a whole in this article. So we are interested to know what you think- does mindfulness help you? Is it less useful focusing on the future, or are goals and action plans still useful?