What is Mindfulness?
The working definition of mindfulness is purposefully being aware, in the present moment, without judgment. This means becoming aware of your internal environment - thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and the external environment, without criticism or judgment. Mindfulness is an inherent quality that we all possess. Paying attention without judgment is a skill that can be learned and practiced so that we can better care for ourselves. Through the practice of mindfulness, individuals are able to meet one’s life as it really is with resilience, compassion and clarity.
Mindfulness is about being fully in touch with your physical sensations, thoughts and emotions as they arise. This strengthens the ability to live fully in the moment without dwelling in the past or moving into the future. Resting in what is happening in the present moment opens opportunities to respond effectively and wisely rather than reacting habitually. Reactivity is often the cause of great stress or self destructive behaviors. These stressors can have a detrimental effect on health in both large and small ways. Viktor Frankl, psychiatrist, author, and Holocaust survivor, so eloquently described this,
Bringing both compassion and clarity to every day life opens the door to growing and living freely in a new and different way. Awareness through the practices of mindfulness and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction provide this new path of living and being.