Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad.
Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.
Mindfulness can involve:
- Bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis.
- A nonelaborative, nonjudgmental, present-centered awareness in which each thought, feeling, or sensation that arises in the attentional field is acknowledged and accepted as it is.
- Conscious awareness of one’s current thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. An orientation that is characterized by curiosity, openness, and acceptance.
Mindfulness is practiced in Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and others (etc.)
This practice, inherited from a Buddhist tradition, is rooted from meditation.
The Buddha advocated that one should establish mindfulness in one’s day-to-day life maintaining as much as possible a calm awareness of one’s body functions, sensations (feelings), objects of consciousness (thoughts and perceptions), and consciousness itself.
When practicing mindfulness, for instance by watching the breath, one must remember to maintain attention on the chosen object of awareness, “faithfully returning back to refocus on that object whenever the mind wanders away from it.” Thus, mindfulness means not only, “moment to moment awareness of present events,” but also, “remembering to be aware of something or to do something at a designated time in the future.”
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