Mindfulness is a state of awareness characterized by nonjudgmental observation of and interaction with the present moment. Mindful awareness involves an open, curious, and accepting attitude toward your internal experience (bodily sensations, thoughts, and emotions) and your external experience (interactions with other people and the environment). Mindfulness may be cultivated and strengthened through regular meditative practices. In fact, research has found that engaging in daily meditative practices for as little as 20 minutes a day over the course of eight weeks significantly reduces self-reported depression, anxiety, negative affect (mood), and rumination (engaging in repetitive negative thoughts or excessively focusing on real or perceived negative experiences / failures).
Mindfulness is a state of being that facilitates freedom from attachment to the need for people, things, or events to be a certain way… tranquility comes with mindful awareness and acceptance of the way people, things, and events actually are. Mindful acceptance does not require your approval. Many events in life will occur, and even persist, with or without your approval. Mindfulness enables you to take a step back from your experience, take the blinders off your eyes, and see the present moment in the light of day… just as it is. The concepts of “good” and “bad” take on new meanings when these labels are no longer hurriedly applied to people, things, and events out of knee-jerk emotional responses or behavioral impulses. Mindfulness provides a quiet space from which you have the opportunity to view any situation, encounter, or experience from all angles. Within this mindful state is psychological flexibility, lessened emotional reactivity, and greater tolerance of distress.
An attitude of mindfulness means that you are aware of the present moment in an entirely new way… with this freedom comes inherent responsibility. You are now responsible for making the choice to respond to internal and external cues rather than react to them. When you welcome and accept all things, the mental and emotional strain of resistance to “what is” dissipates. Mindfulness is one road toward freedom from the unnecessary suffering that persists from denying, ignoring, or raging against the moment. Recognition of the possibility to be freed from unnecessary suffering and engage with your life in a deliberate, nonjudgmental, and accepting manner is part of becoming more mindful. Mindfulness is a tool that can increase your connectedness, acceptance, and awareness with yourself, others, and the world.
Mindfulness During Times of Uncertainty
“We sail within a vast sphere, ever drifting in uncertainty, driven from end to end.” – Blaise Pascal It is no secret that the world is grappling with an incredible amount of stress in the face of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. During times of intense stress it’s more important than ever to be mindful of…Read More
The Importance of Mindfulness in the Workplace
“Without giving up hope—that there’s somewhere better to be, that there’s someone better to be—we will never relax with where we are or who we are.” – Pema Chödrön How do you “show up” at work? We spend so much of our lives devoted to academic and career-related pursuits, that it’s worth asking ourselves how…Read More
The Value of Solitude & Silence
“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.” – Albert Camus In a society where an aspect of success is measured by the accumulation of wealth, power, and prestige, it can be easy to lose one’s sense of self. The stress of feeling perpetually dissatisfied, comparing oneself to others,…Read More
The Upside of Emotional Pain
“Nothing in the world is worth having or with doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” – Theodore Roosevelt What thoughts or emotions arise within…Read More
Poetic Mindfulness: “Now is the Time”
“And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth, You owe me. Look what happens with love like that. It lights up the sky.” – Hafiz The truth is, I’ve always been a bit intimidated by poetry. I use the word intimidated because the emotions that certain poems tend to stir…Read More
Trait Mindfulness: Pre-Sleep Arousal & Emotional Stability
“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” – Mother Teresa Mindfulness involves nonjudgmental, open-minded, and alert attention to the present moment accompanied by an accepting, gentle, and curious attitude. Research continues to mount in support of numerous physical, mental, and emotional benefits of mindfulness. You may find…Read More
Mindfulness During the Holidays
“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” – Hamilton Wright Mabie It is easy to become disconnected from mindfulness during the holidays. The holiday season is often filled with copious stimulation from the external world of the senses and the internal world of thoughts, emotions, and sensations. When…Read More
Embrace Impermanence & Discover Yourself Amidst Change
“If we are not empty, we become a block of matter. We cannot breathe, we cannot think. To be empty means to be alive, to breathe in and to breathe out. We cannot be alive if we are not empty. Emptiness is impermanence, it is change. We should not complain about impermanence, because without impermanence, nothing is possible.” – Thich Nhat Hanh…Read More
Use Mindfulness to Manage ADHD
“Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing, that we see too late the one that is open.” – Alexander Graham Bell Upon initial consideration, it may appear that using mindfulness to address the symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) would be a frustrating, if not useless, enterprise. The “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of…Read More
Use Mindfulness to Get More Alert, Creative & Productive
“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” – George Bernard Shaw We all experience difficult emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations that can act as powerful deterrents to performing at our optimal levels of alertness, creativity, and productivity. There is little use trying to…Read More