What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness or attention training is like going to the gym for your mind.
Each time we practice, we are learning to pay attention to our body and mind in the present moment, and doing so with a non-judgmental, non-reactive and accepting attitude.
Let’s give it a go now, as you’re reading this.
- Become aware of the feeling of your shoes on your feet.
- Become aware of the rise and fall of your chest or stomach.
- How does the chair beneath you feel?
Stay with these feeling for ~10 seconds. As you are doing so, simply observe any thoughts and feelings that come up, without judging them as good or bad, just notice and accept they are there.
By practicing mindfulness, we begin to see our thoughts and body sensations for what they are, just thoughts and body sensations. We learn not to judge or react to them, rather accept and let go of them.
In learning to be mindful, we can begin to counter many of our everyday sufferings such as stress, anxiety and depression because we are learning to experience events in a more impersonal and detached way.