"MEDITATION IS TO BE AWARE OF WHAT IS GOING ON: IN YOUR BODY, IN YOUR FEELINGS, IN YOUR MIND AND IN THE WORLD"
- THICH NHAT HANH
What is Mindfulness?
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness is a modern concept that describes the adoption of a new mind set and is a powerful tool in the self-management of conditions like anxiety, stress and depression but can also be used and applied in all daily life.
To gain a good idea of what Mindfulness is, it is a good idea to explain what it is not. Unlike other treatments for anxiety, stress and depression, such as medication, it is not a quick fix and takes time and application to achieve permanent results.
But, if the guidance, mind set and Mindfulness exercises are applied and reinforced on a daily basis, the results become a feature of your life and over time create permanent change.
There are three core concepts of Mindfulness and they are:
Awareness: Developing an awareness or an objective noticing or observing in every given moment.
Non-judgement: Adopting a non-judgmental mind set on any given situation.
Living in the present moment: Keeping a sense of living in the present moment, without habitually reflecting on the past or worrying about the future.
Mindfulness is the practice of being aware in every possible moment, while keeping a non-judgemental outlook and, at the same time, observing your own bodily and emotional responses.
The concept of Mindfulness originates from many sources to make a complete self-help programme, however the practice of Buddhism, which focuses on a ‘Mindful’ approach, is where the concept of observing one’s thoughts and actions first originates. This doesn’t mean that Mindfulness is Buddhism; it is simply where the original practice comes from and is applied in Mindfulness today.
Mindfulness Intention Exercise
On a piece of paper or in a Mindfulness journal, write as many answers as you can to the following questions in one minute, without thinking about them too much. Doing this exercise may help to clarify your motivation and intentions for Mindfulness:
I want to practice mindfulness because...
I’m hoping mindfulness will give me...
If I’m more mindful I'll...
The real reasons I want to practice mindfulness are to...
Ultimately Mindfulness will give me...