Mindfulness is a personal development practice based on mental training exercises and self-observation, supported by neuroscientific evidence. It was popularized in the West by Jon Kabat-Zinn from the University of Massachusetts from 1979, and has generated increasing worldwide interest since then.

A regular mindfulness practice develops a more focused and balanced presence through a variety of simple but powerful exercises such as the intentional observation of the natural breath or the awareness of our thoughts, emotions and mental states. This promotes self-awareness and self-control, two fundamental qualities that constitute the base for a great number of academic, professional, emotional and social competencies. Furthermore, mindfulness practice promotes a state of open and non-judgmental awareness in which processes of acceptance and healing can occur within each individual.

Numerous scientific studies demonstrate that, among many other benefits, a regular mindfulness practice improves health and wellbeing by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression; inducing more positive states of mind; enhancing immune system function; increasing motivation to make lifestyle changes; and fostering social connection and enriched interpersonal relations (Meiklejohn et al, 2012).

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"With the strengthening of my practice, I increasingly understand the importance it has for my life. I realize that now I am much more present and conscious of what happens to me in my daily life and how I act and respond. I feel that I have much more control of myself in terms of my emotions and sensations, simply by observing them for what they are. Something beautiful is that I now accept myself as I am, with everything there is in me, and I treat myself with more love. I embrace my whole past in a sincere way and that has incredibly strengthened my being. It feels as if my essential self is starting to shed a thousand burdens and with them a thousand masks." (A RESPIRA Facilitator)