Mindfulness, it's everywhere...it's even made an appearance on 'Cold Feet' and had a Ladybird book written about it. But what is it exactly?
You might think it's just another form of meditation but you'd be wrong. Yes there are formal sitting practices, but the great thing about mindfulness is that it can pretty much be incorporated into any aspect of everyday life.
So let's get a proper definition from Jon Kabat-Zinn the guy who introduced mindfulness into mainstream culture with his Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programme...
’Practising mindfulness means monitoring, in real time, your experience and doing so in a non-judgemental way’ (Kabat-Zinn 1994).
How can mindfulness be used in daily life?
'Mindful awareness’ can be practised at any given moment, where you become the observer of your experience and accept it without judgement. Being non-judgemental allows us to free ourselves of our beliefs and look at the situation exactly as it is. It also allows us to cultivate resilience in response to challenges.
How can mindfulness be used in meditation?
There are 2 formal sitting meditation practices. Focused attention and Open Monitoring.
Focused attention is about bringing attention to a particular target. E.g. body scan meditation, where you concentrate on different parts of the body in turn.
Open Monitoring involves non-judgmentally monitoring your experience. This helps when coping with stress because when you are in mindful awareness you are only experiencing what is happening in the present and not worrying about what has happened or what will happen.
So why not bring a bit of mindfulness into your life today!
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