What is Mindfulness?
Updated: Dec 19, 2021
Mindfulness has become a big part of wellness culture, often utilized for stress and anxiety reduction. But how does it actually help?
To begin with, mindfulness is a way of engaging with the self that cultivates deeper awareness. This in turn allows us to begin observing our thoughts and feelings in a more non-judgmental way. The focus on not judging is an important aspect of mindfulness. It enables us to be aware the things we are thinking, feeling and experiencing, without getting caught in the trap of automatically reacting to those thoughts, feelings and experiences. It creates a kind of pause; a state of 'witnessing' that can help us begin to make more conscious (and hopefully beneficial) choices.
In therapy, mindfulness can also be used to create a more compassionate understanding of where many of our thoughts, beliefs and emotions originated. By stepping back and becoming more aware of what we are noticing within ourselves, it becomes possible to gain more clarity about patterns we may have learned in childhood, or other formative periods of life. When we have a deeper understanding of these patterns, we are better able to manage the emotions they may trigger -- and better equipped to make the changes we want to make. All of this helps to cultivate a more balanced relationship with ourselves and with the various people in our lives.
For more information on mindfulness, you can check out the links below: