What is Mindfulness
What is Mindfulness
Mindfulness means paying attention to what is presently occurring, with kindness and curiosity.
We might be paying attention to a thought, a feeling, physical sensations, other people or the environment around us, but to be mindful means to give the present moment our full attention, without distraction.
With time and practice, mindfulness helps us to more fully appreciate the relationship between our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations and the outer world. We learn to see how they are all connected, and that this shapes our wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around us.
We are all capable of mindfulness – some people are naturally more mindful than others, and all of us have times when we are more mindful than at other times. Mindfulness practice is about training our ability to pay attention so we can improve wellbeing and decrease distress.
Practising mindfulness helps us to feel less stressed, anxious and depressed, and more balanced and in tune with what is happening within and around us. This helps us feel calmer and clearer, which in turn boosts wellbeing and provides an important foundation for learning.
Who is mindfulness good for?
Everyone! We can all be mindful: children, teens, adults, young and old can all benefit from being mindful and from learning mindfulness practice.
The beauty of mindfulness is that it can be done anywhere. With practise, you can overcome many of the things that hold you back from feeling in tune with yourself and your environment.
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
Research shows that, when practiced over time, mindfulness:
- Decreases symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Decreases the production of the stress hormone, cortisol.
- Improves concentration and the ability to learn.
- Increases resilience.
- Increases calmness.
- Enhances self-awareness.
- Helps with conflict resolution and the development of positive relationships.
- Increases wellbeing.
With mindfulness practice, we can overcome distractions and over-thinking, and live more calmly and clearly in the present moment. We can feel kinder and more curious about others. We spend less time worrying about the future or fixating on the past and can allow unhelpful thoughts to simply pass by so we can focus on the task at hand. This reduces stress, anxiety and depression. Over time better focus and attention helps build resilience and wellbeing.