What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is bringing awareness to the present moment. Mindfulness offers a way to develop skills to objectively and non-judgmentally observe what is happening in the present moment. It is not about having a clear mind, instead it is about providing space in our minds to observe what is here right now in terms of our five senses, our thoughts, and our emotions.
When our mind is distracted, perhaps by a strong physical sensation in the body such as pain, a past memory, or a future worry, we tend to make decisions in a "mindless" way, reacting instead of responding, not fully present and aware.
When we are present in this moment we can make clear choices about what we need to do to best take care of ourselves.
Mindfulness training tends to focus on three main meditation practices:
Bringing awareness to the body (body scan)
Bringing awareness to movement
Bringing awareness to the breath, mind (thoughts) and emotions
The man who most consider responsible for bringing mindfulness mediation to western society, and in particular healthcare, is Jon Kabat Zinn. Click the video link below (1min 34 sec) to hear directly from him about mindfulness.
How can Mindfulness help?
What is the science behind mindfulness?
If you want a little bit of the neuro-science of mindfulness watch the video below (9 mins).
If you'd like a slightly longer video (30 mins) about the science and effects of mindfulness meditation then you might want to look at the following video with input from many leading figures in the field
Useful Mindfulness Resources
This list is not exhaustive but will hopefully give you some resources to build your mindfulness practice, they are ones I have found useful along the way. Enjoy!
Websites (click on the name to be redirected to the website)