What is Mindfulness? “Mindfulness” seems to be a word that is being used everywhere to talk about everything from how to improve test scores, to healing the body, to increased productivity in the workplace. Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn defines it as “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”
That may sound easy, but paying attention completely with all of your senses.
Take a moment to think about this: When was the last time that you did this? How many times have you driven somewhere and lost track of time? How many times have you washed a sink full of dishes and focused on the process of washing dishes, the temperature of the water and how your hands feel washing the dishes instead of thinking about your to-do list, or your experiences from earlier in the day?
Mindfulness is in fact not multi-tasking which as a culture, we seem to pride ourselves on. Mindfulness is taking in every detail of what you are experiencing, right now, what feels great as equally as what feels awful.
How can mindfulness help me?
Teaching ourselves to slow down and to be more receptive than “going through the motions” is a practice made possible through mindfulness techniques. Mindfulness teaches us to dial down the racing thoughts that lead us to engage in limiting or self-sabotaging behaviors.
How many times have you finished a meal and can barely remember what it tasted like or eaten something you shouldn’t have just because “it was there”?
Mindfulness helps us tune in to our bodies, provides clarity, decreases anxiety, improves immunity and promotes a general sense of well-being. It is a gift to oneself. It is permission to slow down in a world that often feels like a roller coaster.