What is mindfulness?
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.” (Jon Kabat-Zinn).
But what does that really mean for me? It means:
- Being in control of your mind rather than letting your mind be in control of you
- Full awareness: being aware of the present moment without judgement
- Staying focused on one thing at a time with your full attention on that one thing
- Being focused on what’s happening right now in this moment – without rejecting it or judging it.
- Accepting that it’s okay to be right where we are right now.
What are some the benefits of practicing mindfulness?
Practicing mindfulness has a lot of positive emotional, mental, and physical benefits. A regular practice can help you by:
- Improving your overall physical health, including reducing physical pain
- Improving overall mental health, including your mood and lowering anxiety
- Reducing your emotional suffering and increasing your sense of well-being
- Helping to focus your attention
- Increasing compassion for self and others
- Giving you more choices and more control over your behavior
How can I practice mindfulness in my daily life?
You can be mindful at any place and at any time! Try it out by:
- Getting into a comfortable position (on the floor, in a chair, wherever you like!)
- Closing your eyes or keeping them open – try both and see what works best for you
- Keeping perfectly still
- Taking a few deep breaths
- Focusing on what your breath feels like as it enters and leaves your body
- Letting go of thoughts, feelings, distractions – allowing your thoughts to wander without trying to control them
- Noticing sounds or scents around you in the moment