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What is Mindfulness?

Updated: 4 days ago


Mindfulness has become a big part of wellness culture, often utilized for stress and anxiety reduction. But how does it actually help?


First, it is important to note that the 'trend' of mindfulness can be viewed through many misleading and distorted perspectives. Mindfulness is by no means a quick fix, a cure-all, or a magic bullet of any kind. Nor is it just a superficial 'lifestyle enhancer' or set of catchy affirmations. It is an ongoing practice that requires time, patience, and realistic expectations. It is about paying attention in a different way... slowing down, taking a pause, and noticing our own breath, our own rhythms, and the rhythms of life around us. It brings us more in touch with ourselves. And that may not always be comfortable at times.


Mindfulness is a way of engaging with life, and with the self, that continues to cultivate deeper awareness and presence. It's about being fully connected with what is happening in the present moment, and stepping back from the constant, sometimes chaotic, distractions of our minds and environments, our thoughts and worries. It helps us to break the cycle of being chronically caught up in all those distractions, to tune in to what we are actually experiencing, and to notice how those experiences are impacting us.


The cultivation of this kind of presence and awareness can in turn help us to observe our thoughts and feelings in a less reactive, more non-judgmental way. This focus on observation or 'witnessing' our internal experience is a core foundation of mindfulness. It enables us to be aware of the things we are thinking and feeling, without getting automatically 'swept away' or overwhelmed by those thoughts and feelings. And this can help us move through our experiences in more empowered and manageable ways.


In therapy, mindfulness can also be used to create a more compassionate understanding of where many of our thoughts, beliefs and emotions originated. By taking conscious pauses, and becoming more aware of what we are noticing within ourselves, it becomes possible to gain more clarity about the patterns and experiences that have shaped us. With this deeper insight into ourselves and our lived experience, we become better equipped to address the changes we desire to make in our lives, our relationships, and even in our broader communities as a whole.


For more information on mindfulness, you can check out the links below:

Getting Started With Mindfulness (Mindful Magazine)

Three Definitions of Mindfulness That Might Surprise you (Psychology Today)

What is Mindfulness? Explained (Positive Psychology)




#mindfulness #therapy

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