Mindfulness is, in a word, awareness. When we practice mindfulness, we pay attention on purpose to our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the surrounding environment. The essence of mindfulness is non-judgmental awareness. When you practice mindfulness, you don’t judge whether what you are noticing is good, bad, or neutral.
Mindfulness is not a religion, a philosophy, or a psychological theory. Mindfulness is a technique for living. When we practice mindfulness at home, at work, and in our leisure time, we increase our ability to focus our attention on the present moment. We notice thoughts and feelings as they occur, without getting caught up in them. We pay attention to present moment events, rather than worrying about what will happen.
The benefits of mindfulness are many. It can benefit your relationships, your work, and your health. It can help you relax, sleep better, and cope with stress. It can help you deal with pain and illness. It can help you recover from addiction and overcome depression.
It can help you be a better parent and a better friend. Mindfulness doesn’t treat the problems themselves; it trains you to notice and deal with them more effectively. Mindfulness can help you recognize and step away from your automatic reactions. It can help you learn to be more flexible and creative.
It can help you face uncomfortable emotions and difficult situations without getting upset. It can help you be less reactive, less impatient, less fearful of change, and less afraid of being uncomfortable. Mindfulness also helps with depression, anxiety, addiction, and chronic pain.
When people are depressed, they have a tendency to be negative, pessimistic, and hopeless. Mindfulness encourages you to notice and let go of the negative thoughts.