What is mindfulness?
1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something
2. a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
The aim of mindfulness is to allow yourself to consider the whole of your experience, without excluding anything.
‘Mindfulness’ is a hot topic in Western psychology: increasingly recognised as an effective way to reduce stress, increase self-awareness, enhance emotional intelligence, and effectively handle painful thoughts and feelings.
Although mindfulness has only recently been embraced by Western psychology, it is an ancient practice found in a wide range of Eastern philosophies, including Buddhism, Taoism and Yoga. Mindfulness involves consciously bringing awareness to your here-and-now experience with openness, interest, and receptiveness. Jon Kabat-Zinn, a world authority on the use of mindfulness training in the management of clinical problems, defines it as: "Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally."
Mindfulness is about waking up, connecting with ourselves, and appreciating the fullness of each moment of life. Kabat-Zinn calls it, "The art of conscious living." It is a profound way to enhance psychological and emotional resilience, and increase life satisfaction.
Powerful. To experience something in all it's fullness with no - absolutely no - judgement.
The benefits of mindfulness
Practising mindfulness helps you:
to be fully present, here and now
to experience unpleasant thoughts and feelings safely
to become aware of what you’re avoiding
to become more connected to yourself, to others and to the world around you
to increase self-awareness
to become less disturbed by and less reactive to unpleasant experiences
to learn the distinction between you and your thoughts
to have more direct contact with the world, rather than living through your thoughts
to learn that everything changes; that thoughts and feelings come and go like the weather
to have more balance, less emotional volatility
to experience more calm and peacefulness
to develop self-acceptance and self-compassion