Have you heard the term “Mindfulness” before and wondered what it means? Our clinical psychologist, Austin Bailey discusses Mindfulness in this blog post.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is awareness of and deliberate focus on the present moment. It’s living here and now. Through mindfulness, you are freed from becoming entangled in thoughts of your past, and you are freed from worrying about the future. In the here and now, everything just is…and there is great peace in that. It is accepting things as they really are now without judgment, not what our minds say it is.
When you are mindful, your awareness is in the current moment. You become keenly aware of and focused on yourself and your surroundings, but you simply observe these things as they are. You are aware of your own thoughts and feelings, but you do not react to them in the way that you would if you were on “autopilot”, that is when, your thoughts, feelings and reactions just seem to happen to you. When you are alert and mindful of the present moment, you respond to the world with openness, and a sense of acceptance, rather than with judgment and automatic reactions.
What can Mindfulness do for me?
Instead of judging the things that are going on around you as “good” or “bad”, you simply accept them for what they are. By not labeling or judging the events and circumstances taking place around you, you are freed from your normal tendency to react to them.
Mindfulness is “allowing”, and allowing emotions or thoughts to come and go. Through mindfulness you learn to “take a step back” and observe all this mental activity and all the feelings and impulses that it causes, and you begin to separate yourself from their influence.
If mindfulness is a new idea to you, then it might seem a little daunting to try and keep your attention fixed in the present moment. However, Mindfulness is not a contest or a personal challenge. You can’t fail at mindfulness, you can only experience it. Mindfulness can be used many times throughout the day to restore your mind to the present moment and to restore your mind to clarity and peace.