Everyone seems to be talking about mindfulness. And yet with so much talk of mindfulness and so little awareness of what it's really about, I worry that it may be thought of by some as a passing fad. Not everyone realises that it offers a way of living that can free us from stress and anxiety, provides us with more vitality, and allows us to live fully.
If we really understood what mindfulness means and how much it can benefit our thoughts, feelings and behaviour, I think we'd all be practising it like crazy. It might even become slightly cult-like in a similar way that cross-fit has become a bit of a cult in the fitness field.
One of my favourite definitions of mindfulness comes from Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR).
"Mindfulness is awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a sustained and particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally. It is one of the many forms of meditation, if you think of meditation as any way in which we engage in 1/ systematically regulating our attention and energy, 2/ thereby influencing and possibly transforming the quality of our experience, 3/ in the service of realising the full range of our humanity, and of 4/ our relationship to others and the world."1
I hoped you enjoyed this little teaser on mindfulness. Watch out for my next post where I'll talk more about how to practice mindfulness and how it can benefit you.
And if you're interested in more on mindfulness then check out How Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Can Improve Mental Health Outcomes.
1. Kabat-Zinn, J. (2011). Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the present moment and your life. Boulder, CO. Sounds True.