What is mindfulness and what can it do for you?
According to the Oxford language dictionary mindfulness is defined as:
- the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something."their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition"
- 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 quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
Being fully present in the moment without judgement. That last part is so important. When we are in the moment whether it is a positive or negative moment we need to fully be present and not judge what we are feeling. Being in the present moment our minds will naturally wander. The key is to work on bringing your mind back to the present moment. When your mind starts to wander don't judge ("this process is dumb and see I can't do it") notice the feeling and thought and gently let it go.
What can being mindful do for you?
1. By staying in the present moment it gives our mind a chance to let go of negative thoughts. A key part of controlling anxiety and depression. When we ruminate on negative thoughts and emotions it fuels out anxious mind.
2. Mindfulness lets you be in control of your mind rather than letting your mind be in control of you.
3. Being mindful can increase your compassion for your self and others. When letting go of negative thoughts and bringing your mind to the present moment you learn compassion for yourself.
4. Have a teflon mind. Let thoughts and experience come into your mind and slip right out and not let them stick.
5. Practicing mindfulness helps you tolerate painful and negative thoughts and feelings. when you are being mindful and a painful thought comes into mind you are able to let that thought pass, feel it and bring yourself back to the present moment.
6. Ever heard the quote "misery loves company"? When we are good at being mindful we can let negative thoughts come and go instead of focusing on them which in turn grows.
7. Being mindful gives your more choices and can help you act rationally rather than impulsively. You are more self aware.
There is no way to completely clear our minds or keep them from wandering. However, it is important to recognize our wandering mind and either bring it back to the present moment OR let our minds wander with compassion and non-judgement.
Grab my mindfulness cheat sheet here. Print and refer to it often. Remember practice, practice, practice.