Mindfulness is the mental habit of paying attention without thinking.
One of the major current ideas for reducing stress, being happier and increasing focus in both spirituality and psychology is the concept of mindfulness.
What Is Mindfulness…
Mindfulness is often defined as ‘paying attention on purpose moment by moment without judging. This means developing the ability to pay deliberate attention to our experience from moment to moment. We learn to tune in to what is going on in our mind and body day to day without judging our experience.
Mindfulness can help…
Most of us find ourselves frequently ‘swept away’ by the current of thoughts and feelings, worries, pressures, responsibilities; wanting things to be different from how they are right now. This can be particularly powerful when we are faced with pain, difficulties and illness that confound our attempts to find a solution or to feel better. Feeling stuck in this way can be draining. Mindfulness can help us to work directly with the struggle we sometimes have in relating to life’s experience and in doing so can really improve the quality of our life.
What is the goal of mindfulness practice ?
Mindfulness helps us sustain our awareness more often and for longer periods. We can begin to practice mindfulness by adding many brief moments of awareness into our lives on a daily basis.
This awareness comes with lots of benefits.
Here are some of the good things mindfulness can bring to your life:
• Mindfulness helps us create space between the emotions we have and the actions we use to respond to them.
• Mindfulness helps us focus.
• Mindfulness can make us feel better emotionally and physically.
Here are the physical and mental health benefits of mindfulness. Benefits such as;
• decreased stress and anxiety,
• improved health,
• better sleep,
• improved focus and awareness,
• better problem solving,
• improved impulse control,
• increased compassion and kindness,
• stronger relationships,
• and even higher life satisfaction.
Ways of Practicing Mindfulness
Since mindfulness is a state of mind it can be put into practice in a variety of different ways. One type of way to practice mindfulness is termed Concentration Meditations. In concentration meditations you pick one thing to focus your attention on for a given period of time. Concentration meditations build the capacity to notice when our attention has wandered and to observe our experience nonjudgmental. They’re often helpful for managing stress and typically involve focusing on a simple physical sensation such as their breath. It is often recommended that people interested in mindfulness start by practicing with concentration meditations as a way of building the core skills needed for other meditation.
A second form of mindfulness exercise is termed Mindful Meditation. In these exercises you’re asking yourself to just observe the comings and goings of your experiences. This could be noticing bodily sensations as they arise then pass, the same can be done for thoughts, feelings, or even any combination of experiences that you’re having. What makes this a mindfulness exercise as opposed to day dreaming is that all of this is being done with a mindset where you are watching your experiences almost as if they’re on TV, where your aware of whets going on but your separate from the content of your thoughts. When we daydream we lose our mindset of being an observing viewer and instead get pulled into the program and become a character in the show.
Mindfulness can be done by setting aside time to listen to a mindfulness exercises, attend a group meditation. These are sometimes called Formal Practice. Since mindfulness is a state of mind it can also be practiced doing other activities provided that we are being present, aware, and non-judgmental. This is often called Informal Practice and examples include mindful walking, eating, or listening.