What is Mindfulness?

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness in everyday life is the ultimate challenge and practice. It is a way of being, of seeing, of tapping into the full range of our humanity – often seen in playful children fully experiencing life in the here and now. Mindfulness is described by Jon Kabat-Zinn (1994) “as paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally” (p.4).

Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein (2010) report “in Sanskrit, it’s known as smrti, from the root word smr, meaning “to remember” and in Pali, the language of the earliest Buddhist scriptures, it’s known as sati (mindfulness)” (p.15). The attitudinal foundations of mindfulness practice include – non-judging, self-compassion, beginner’s mind, trust/self-reliance, non-striving, equanimity, acceptance/acknowledgement and letting-be.

Through the practice of mindfulness, individuals can become more aware of their thoughts, feelings and body sensations in the present moment. This observing, non-reactive perspective enables you to consciously respond with clarity and focus, rather than react out of a habitual pattern. It opens up the possibility of working more wisely with difficulties in life and choose what is nourishing to ourselves and others.

 

Benefits of Mindfulness

Some of the benefits of mindfulness include –

  • decreasing the symptoms of anxiety,
  • increasing a sense of empathy and spirituality,
  • decreasing symptoms of chronic pain,
  • reduce stress levels in healthy people,
  • decreasing symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder,
  • increasing well-being,
  • helpful in reducing the effects of psoriasis,
  • preventing relapse in depression and drug addiction, and
  • decreasing stress and enhancing quality of life for those with breast and prostate cancer.

Are you ready to live more openly, in the moment and have greater balance in your life?

To find out about some other frequently asked questions about mindfulness – please click here.

 

 

References

Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994). Wherever You Go, There You Are – Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. New York, USA: Hyperion.

Stahl, B., & Goldstein, E. (2010). A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook. Oakland, USA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

 

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