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Why Mindfulness Is the 'It' Girl

15/05/2015 17:00 BST | Updated 15/05/2016 10:59 BST

I've heard the jungle drums that some people think Mindfulness is another trend and will soon go the way of the Jane Fonda aerobics regime (forgotten for most of us). There's my retort. Mindfulness isn't about smelling a butterfly wing, though if you're into it be my guest, what it does deliver is a practice that may potentially give you a longer life and while you're living longer, living better.

The World Health Organization predicts that the cause of death in 2020 will be stress so it's about the right time to look around for a life raft.

Actually it's not even the stress that makes you ill but the effect it has on your immune system. Once that goes down you're like Velcro to heart disease, certain cancers, mental illness, premature aging, hardening of arteries, infertility, obesity and many others. Smoking might actually be less harmful than stress - don't say I said that but I did.

If we're going to prevent the foreboding 2020 prediction, we're going to have to do something fast and it won't be by putting more kelp in your diet. As far as our evolutionary process goes this time we'll have to psychologically catch up with our technology or all will be lost. We've done wonders as far as using our cognitive abilities, we worship those with the smartest brains - see Bill Gates - but now we have to move in a new direction and get emotionally savvy (even Bill Gates). We now need to learn to use our minds to navigate the stressors of the 21st century, not build anymore stuff . I'm not complaining about technology. No one is happier than I to know that Grindr exists. But, we need to learn how to turn off our digital hardware just sometimes to cool down our brains or our software (us) is going to burn out.

Last quote I promise: National Institute of Health published the outcome of research on meditators versus non-meditators. The results showed a massive reduction in mortality compared with controls. The mediation group showed a 23% decrease in mortality over a 19 year period when the group was studied. There was a 30% decrease in rate of cardiovascular mortality and 49% decrease in rates of mortality due to cancer. I don't know if Jane can claim that, though her exercises did give me bum cheeks as hard as a basketball.