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What Is Mindfulness?



In a nutshell, mindfulness is about being completely in touch with the present moment and being open to experiences as they come. The practice of mindfulness has been around for ages. However, mental health professionals are just beginning to recognize that mindfulness can have many benefits for people suffering from difficulties such as anxiety and depression.

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Mindfulness is made up of a number of skills

Staying in the present comes easier with the development of certain skills. Here is list of a few skills that will help you with your mindfulness technique.

Awareness

One skill of mindfulness is learning how to focus your attention on one thing at a time. This includes being aware of and able to recognize all the things that are going on around you (sights, sounds, tastes, smells) as well as all of the things that are going on inside you (feelings, thoughts).

Nonjudgmental Observation

This skill is focused on looking at your experiences in a non-judgmental way. That is, simply looking at things in an objective way as opposed to labeling them as either “good” or “bad.” An important part of this skill is self-compassion.

Being in the present moment

Part of mindfulness is being in touch with the present moment as opposed to being caught up in thoughts about the past (also called rumination) or future (or worry). An aspect of this skill is being an active participant in experiences as opposed to being “stuck on auto pilot.”

Beginner’s Mind

Focuses on being open to new possibilities. It also refers to observing or looking at things at they truly are, as opposed to what we think they are or evaluate them to be.

Practicing Mindfulness

Mindfulness takes practice. You can bring mindfulness to any activity that you tend to do without thinking such as eating, washing dishes, cooking, taking a shower, driving, or listening to music.

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