When we hear the word “mindfulness” we may think of something that requires a lot of effort, thought and focus. But mindfulness is innate; it is something everyone already possesses and can do. Mindfulness is being present in the moment, aware of our surroundings and observing our thoughts and feelings without judgment. The focus is living in the moment, not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
Life is filled with stressors, difficult situations and people, overwhelming thoughts and emotions. But when we engage in mindfulness, we can reduce stress and anxiety, decrease depressive symptoms and increase insight and awareness to the wellbeing of ourselves and those around us.
Meditation allows us to bring mindfulness into our lives. It gives us the opportunity to pause and bring our awareness to present moment. We can bring kindness to ourselves, release any judgment and allow our curiosity to roam.
Mindfulness can be transformative; it is evidence and experience based. When we integrate mindfulness into our daily lives it will positively effect our health, mood, relationships and work.
We as a society are “doers”; that is how we believe we can achieve our goals. Mindfulness achieves by “not doing”; it allows us to see our thoughts and emotions as just thoughts and emotions not something irrefutable. Our thoughts are often subtle, and we believe them without question. Mindfulness shows us they are just thoughts and there is no basis to believe them absolutely. With a feeling like “anger” we begin to realize that although it may be strong, it is temporary, it does not define us, and it will pass. In mindfulness we stop identifying with the thoughts and emotions, and our mind stops being in control of strong feelings and thoughts.
Our new way becomes:
I have thoughts but I am not my thoughts.
I have bodily sensations but I am not my bodily sensations.
I have feelings but I am not my feelings.