Confused by that title? Let me explain. I’m talking about mindfulness. It’s a simple psychological technique, by which one is completely aware of their thoughts, bodily sensations and surrounding environment. Along with this awareness, there is also a sense of acceptance of all that one is experiencing or sensing, without any judgment. What this means, is that you’re observing your thoughts and actions from a distance, independent of your past knowledge or future connotations of these thoughts, and without labeling these thoughts as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
Arising from Buddhist meditation practices, Mindfulness was adopted in the 1970’s for medical and Psychological benefits, having seen great use for stress reduction and coping. Although it can be cultivated through numerous practices like yoga and tai chi, meditation is the most commonly used and most widely successful.
A very basic example of its use is when people ask you to take deep breaths to calm yourself down when you are angry or stressed out. Think about it… It does seem to help, doesn’t it?
Mindfulness is also characterised by the following:
Research on mindfulness has seen many proven advantages. Some of these advantages are reduced negative pondering, stress reduction (as mentioned above), boost of memory and concentration, less emotional reactivity, greater flexibility in thoughts, relationship satisfaction, enhanced self insight, modulation of fear, better understanding of one’s morality and an overall improvement in quality of life.
I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely going to try to Mind It. Not bad advice, eh?
Priyal Chandrani, counselor on the HealthEminds panel, gives us further insight into mindfulness and how we can use it to cope with the everyday stress we all face.
Watch Video on Mindfulness