Whether it be regrets about the past, fear of the unknown, or worrying about things out of our control, we all struggle with different anxieties. Anxiety can manifest itself in a range of different ways with a multitude of different causes. However, many feelings of anxiety stem from a lack of focus in the present moment. The study of mindfulness has become a cultural phenomenon marked by its central idea of developing attention for the present moment. Many celebrity influencers have endorsed the mindfulness movement and a 2014 Time Magazine cover featured the story "The Mindful Revolution." This issue defined mindfulness as: "The science of finding focus in a stressed out, multitasking culture." This down-to-earth definition eliminates scientific jargon and makes mindfulness relatable to the everyday person and with busy lives we all live.
To fully understand mindfulness it is important to understand the roots of the movement. A 2015 New York Times article traces mindfulness back to the nineteenth century where it was born from an early branch of Buddhism called Theravada. In 1881 a British magistrate coined the term mindfulness, which is a synonym for attention, as an approximate translation of the Buddhist concept of Sati, which translates to "memory of the present." This concept was once again transformed in 1970 by a New England biologist who practiced the Zen-Buddhist tradition and wanted to make it more applicable to western cultures. The practice of mindfulness has continued to grow and gain popularity in our society because of its direct relation to our lives.
The adaptation of mindfulness from the Buddhist element of enlightenment, Sati, is a major reason that mindfulness has gained so much traction in our society. It has been transformed so that is can be applied to people at all different stages of life and can be adaptable based on the desired end result. Mindfulness is a simple practice that can be flexible with your hectic schedule to keep you grounded in the present moment. A Harvard study concluded that people's minds are wandering out of the present moment 47% of the time. Remember: "a wandering mind is an unhappy mind." Use mindfulness to stay focused on the present moment and let go of anxieties about the past or future.