Updated: Feb 7
Mindfulness is defined as the open awareness of the present moment with an attitude of acceptance. Mindfulness-based interventions range from meditation, yoga, or daily awareness of routine events like walking, showering, driving, etc.
Mindfulness is a state of “open awareness” and a practice “attitude of acceptance”. Mindfulness is not magical, it's not some holy moral practice, it works because of the way our personalities are wired and the way our environment conditions us.
Individuals who practice mindfulness in comparison to placebo groups tend to become less reactive to unpleasant internal phenomena but more reflective, which in turn will lead to positive psychological outcomes.
Mindlessness, autopilot, automatic reactions, being triggered, psychological inflexibility, a hyperactive nervous system, or an underactive nervous system are ways to describe the opposite of mindfulness. This default mode of tending is to be unconscious, compulsive, and/or negative.
Mindfulness does have a strong connotation to Eastern philosophy and religions which is true but the concept of mindfulness as defined in this way has been studied dozens of times and examined in detail by many different experts across the fields of philosophy, clinical psychology, developmental psychology, education, psychotherapy, social psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience, biochemistry, and anthropology.
Use these tips to try and develop a sense of mindfulness:
Pay attention. Try to take the time to experience your environment with all of your senses — touch, sound, sight, smell, and taste.
Live in the moment. Try to intentionally bring open, accepting, and discerning attention to everything you do. Find joy in simple pleasures.
Accept yourself. Treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend.