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What is Mindfulness?

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

Mindfulness is a common modality used among clinicians worldwide, but what is the true meaning of it? Mindfulness is the basic ability to be fully present in the moment, aware of where we are and what we are doing, and not being overwhelmed by what is going on around us. Mindfulness is a quality that every human being already possesses inside of us, you just have to learn how to access it.

There are different techniques used to practice mindfulness in our daily lives. Some examples of these are:

1. Seated, walking, standing, moving mediation

2. Short pauses in our daily lives

3. Mediation activities, along with other activities such as yoga or sports

Here’s what is known about mindfulness. As previously mentioned, mindfulness is familiar to us as individuals because it is present inside us all, but each person accesses it differently. It doesn’t require us to change who we are, but rather change our thinking and outlook in order to benefit ourselves, our loved ones, and everyone else around us. Mindfulness is a powerful tool. Anyone can do it, anywhere and anytime. Mindfulness is more than just a practice. It brings awareness and caring into everything we do, and it cuts down needless stress. Even a little makes our lives better.

Below are the 7 key princicples of mindfulness:

  • Non-judging- Be an impartial witness to your own experience. Become aware of the constant stream of judging and reacting to inner and outer experience

  • Patience- A form of wisdom, patience demonstrates that we accept the fact that things sometimes unfold in their own time. Allow for this

  • Beginner’s Mind- Remaining open and curious allows us to be receptive to new possibilities and prevents us from getting stuck in the rut of our own expertise

  • Trust- Develop a basic trust with yourself and your feelings. Know it’s OK to make mistakes

  • Non-Striving- The goal is to be with yourself right here, right now. Pay attention to what is unfolding without trying to change anything

  • Acceptance- See things as they are. This sets the stage for acting appropriately in your life no matter what is happening

  • Letting Go- When we pay attention to our inner experience, we discover there are certain thoughts, emotions and sit

Below are some examples of meditation exercises:

  • Pay attention. It's hard to slow down and notice things in a busy world. Try to take the time to experience your environment with all of your senses — touch, sound, sight, smell and taste. For example, when you eat a favorite food, take the time to smell, taste and truly enjoy it.

  • Live in the moment. Try to intentionally bring an 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.

  • Focus on your breathing. When you have negative thoughts, try to sit down, take a deep breath and close your eyes. Focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Sitting and breathing for even just a minute can help.


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