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What is Mindfulness?

Mar 30, 2017

Mindfulness, like Meditation is a word we are hearing a lot about lately. And like meditation, everyone is talking about it, but what is it really?

Well the good news is mindfulness is really easy to understand. 

What are you thinking right now? 

Taking a moment to stop and notice what you are thinking is seriously profound and powerful.  Why? Because as soon as you become mindful about what you are thinking, you have to notice that ‘YOU’ is something other than your thoughts!

YOU are the observer of your experience!  Wow.  I know, profound, but simple.

What does Mindfulness mean?

What does this mean?  Well, often, the way we FEEL is directly related to what we are thinking.When we get a bad grade in school, or take a loss in sports, our minds can start to run!  Saying things like ‘I am not good enough’, ‘I will never amount to anything.’  This kind of self talk can produce feelings of anxiety and if they go on long enough can lead to depression. 

When you learn to separate yourself from the thoughts in your head, you can take an active role in the words you say to yourself, and the feelings those words can produce. 

In mindfulness meditation we take a few minutes in the morning and a few minutes in the evening to practice watching what is going on in our heads. 

How does Mindfulness Meditation work?

Here is how it works.  First find a place to sit that is quiet and private where you are not likely to be disturbed.  Sit on a pillow so your butt is elevated a bit and cross your legs.  You know, like you were the Buddha ; )

Close your eyes and notice what you are thinking.  Then take a deep breath and really pay attention to the breath coming into your body.  How does it feel?  Exhale slowly and repeat.  Keep doing this until you notice that you are thinking something again!  Notice how the thought feels in your body.  Does it feel achy?  Is your stomach feeling upset?  Do you feel excited?  Happy? 

Do NOT judge your thoughts as good or bad!  This is incredibly important!  Thoughts are just thoughts, its only your judgment that makes them good or bad.  We are not sitting here practicing judgment, we are practicing mindfulness meditation!  What that means is we are simply here to learn to observe our thoughts, accept them for what they are and then take another breath. 

Each time we accept our thoughts and take a deep breath we are training ourselves to accept ourselves no matter what happens to us and to see the passing events of life similar to our thoughts.  It all just is what it is.  A lot of it is out of our control, the only thing we have control over is our reaction to what is happening around us. 

By practicing Mindfulness Meditation for a few minutes each morning and a few minutes in the evening we train our mind to notice itself.  Without this practice we can get caught up in what's going on around us, judging our selves and our life, and this often leads to unpleasant feelings. 

With mindfulness we can catch ourselves when our thoughts are slipping into negativity and we can tell ourselves a new story, alter our next actions to produce a result we are going to be more happy with, or accept things as they are and be happy and grateful for all the good in our lives! 

Have Your Say

How do you deal with stress in your life? Post in the comments below