Mindfulness is a state of focused attention to cultivate moment-to-moment nonjudgmental awareness, being present to the present. Simply observing the moment in which you find yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically. Not judging, reflecting, or thinking.
A practice of mindfulness offers inner stillness that can be relaxing and healing. It enables you to be fully awake to life. Relationships can become richer, connections more powerful. It may quiet the mind and reduce physical distress. Mindfulness may decrease anxiety and depression, and increase self-awareness and self-acceptance. It enhances gratitude and appreciation of self and others, and helps you respond rather than react to situations. It may increase concentration and focused thought, and mindfulness encourages acceptance of things that you cannot change and creates balance in life.
4 STEPS TO MINDFUL AWARENESS
1. Stop - Call a time out for yourself
2. Breathe - Take a few slow, cleansing breaths. Relax any tension in your body
3. Reflect - Relax your mind and diffuse racing thoughts. Let go of negative thoughts. Try to view the situation with compassionate awareness.
4. Choose - Choose to respond after calm consideration. Decide mindfully how to best to deal with the source of the stress.
While there is much interest in positive thinking and the desire for happiness, some studies suggest that reducing or avoiding pessimism may be more important than increasing optimism. In short, being neutral is better than negative. Practicing mindful compassionate awareness can foster peaceful co-existence with yourself and others.
Looking for more information on a mindful approach to daily living? Download the Harvard Health Publications "Your Portable Guide to Stress Relief".
Marnie Blount-Gowan, Editor