Mindfulness is the art of paying attention and it is practiced by looking within for information. As opposed to traditionally European “Enlightened” thinking, a person’s Self is thought to be embodied, so practitioners use diverse techniques of moving, breathing, and relaxing to connect to the observer within.
When faced with different levels of stress, our brains enter a corresponding state of fight/flight/freeze. By practicing mindfulness and paying attention to our breathing we are able to stimulate the rest/digest/rational thinking neo-cortex. This area, known as the “human” brain, is responsible for imagination, logic, planning, and a sense of control. It is not surprising that there is a growing movement for bringing mindfulness into high stress settings like schools, prisons, and small businesses.