Mindfulness is an awareness that arises through paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally (Kabat-Zinn, 1994). It refers to being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment and accepting it without judgment.
Mindfulness is a self-awareness technique that helps us create space for ourselves in the everyday life—space to think, space to breathe, space to see where we are and what we’re doing, and not become overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. It is a key element in stress reduction and overall happiness because it consists of both awareness and acceptance.
Mindfulness is a natural quality that we all have. It’s available to us at every moment if we take the time to appreciate it.
Techniques for Mindfulness
There is more than one way to practice mindfulness, but the goal is to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation that allows the mind to refocus on the present moment. Examples are breathing methods, guided meditations, etc.
The University of Minnesota propounds a little mindful technique called STOP:
- Slow down
- Take a breath
- Observe your body, thoughts, and feelings
- Process your possibilities, then proceed
Note that, all mindfulness techniques are a form of meditation.
Mindfulness and meditation have proven to be helpful for:
- Reducing stress,
- Enhancing performance,
- Gaining insight and awareness
- Increasing our well-being and attention to others’ well-being.
- Improving physical and mental health
- Improving attention
- Decreasing job burnout
- Improving sleep
- Improving diabetes control
Meditation can take place anywhere so do not hesitate to take care of yourself by all means.