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What is Mindfulness?

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment with openness, curiosity and without judgement. It is not about stopping or controlling our thoughts or emotions, rather, it is the act of observing these thoughts and experiences as they arise. By paying attention to the present moment, our thoughts that are often entangled with judgements, opinions and preferences are able to exist exactly as they are and we can observe them with compassion, awareness and non-judgement. Mindfulness can be formal – such as the formal practice of  meditation where you sit, usually with the eyes closed, and focus attention your breathing or the sensations experienced within your body. Mindfulness can also be informal – in which you bring the same kind of improved attention that you might get from formal practice to everyday situations. This involves directing your full and non-judgemental attention to the activity you’re undertaking at a particular moment – it might be washing the dishes, brushing your teeth, chatting with a friend or studying

Why is mindfulness useful?

In our busy world, it is easy for our attention to be directed to a number of different things all at once. This can often lead to feeling overwhelmed and restless. By training in mindfulness, we can learn to be less distracted, more present, and therefore more connected with the people and the world around us. In this way, we are actually living and experiencing life to the fullest. By practicing mindfulness, we are able to have a calm, clearer and content mind. This healthy mindset makes us less prone to being emotionally reactive during the highs and lows and our successes and setbacks. We can physically train our body day in, day out, but it is just as important to train the mind through mindfulness. If we’re not also looking after our mind, then we are not maximizing our highest potential. 

What are the benefits of mindfulness?

The benefits of mindfulness are vast and include:

  1. reduced worry, anxiety and distress

  2. enjoying better energy levels

  3. creating a sense of calm

  4. learning how to relax and regulate emotions

  5. enhanced awareness and creativity