What is mindfulness?

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What is mindfulness?

We hear the word mindfulness a lot these days, especially associated with practices like yoga, spirituality, and meditation. We even see mindfulness slogans printed on T-shirts, we’re invited to download mindfulness apps and we hear about YouTubers going on mindful retreats.

But what is mindfulness anyway? Is it something you already have, or is it a quality that you need to strive to develop, like learning a new language? Is becoming mindful a personal process that you should explore slowly, at your own pace, or is it something you need to do right now, to enjoy all the health benefits?

Let’s start with the definition of mindfulness:

“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.”

In essence, mindfulness describes our ability as humans to focus on the present, and take in what is happening to us. Mindfulness means enjoying every moment of your reunion with an old friend, a lazy Sunday spent with your loved one, a great book, or just nibbling on our favourite food.

It sounds really simple, but the hectic rhythm of daily life, or certain negative events, can keep us from being present in the moment. So, instead of being fully engaged, we let ourselves be overwhelmed by stress and anxiety, thinking about the next exam, the next paycheck, or a difficult task at work.

Being mindful doesn’t mean that you will no longer feel stress and anxiety or that you’ll be detached from everything around you. It means being aware of your negative thoughts and learning to control them so that they don’t take over.

Mindfulness is an ability we are born with, and that we can cultivate through techniques such as meditation, breathing, yoga, even sports. It’s not some exotic practice, nor is it tied to a certain religion or spiritual belief. Mindfulness doesn’t ask you to change who you are as a person; it helps you reveal your best self and set your mind in sync with your body.

Anyone can practice mindfulness, no matter the age, gender, or social background. You don’t need expensive equipment to do it, because it’s not like an expensive hobby. If you want to go on a mindfulness retreat in Bali, under the guidance of a coach, you can do that, but you can equally practice mindfulness at home, through simple exercises.

By |2019-07-16T15:07:36+00:00July 16th, 2019|Tips and guides|Comments Off on What is mindfulness?

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