Stress is a common factor in today's world, due in part to the demands of work and family life, the bombardment of information we constantly get from social media and e-mail, and financial insecurity. Many of us have started adding mindfulness meditation groups in Silicon Valley to our wellness programs to try to reduce stress and anxiety.
The history of meditation is ancient and has been around for thousands of years. It has its roots in religions – particularly Buddhism and Taoism, where the focus of meditation is on spiritual growth and overcoming emotions.
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In the Western world, where meditation is understood and adapted in the same way as yoga, the term refers to many practices, where mindfulness is only one. When practitioners today talk about "mindfulness meditation," they usually describe the basic practice of sitting comfortably, focusing on the breath, and focusing on the present.
Mindfulness practice is an empirically based intervention for many ailments because it reduces physical pressure such as pain and mental stress. Scientific confirmation of the positive effects of this type of practice has only reached a critical point in the past 10 years.
Until newly, in Western society, the idea of meditation was intimately linked in the minds of people with Eastern religions and practices. Partly because of growing scientific interest, meditation and mindfulness have shifted to the mainstream.