Being in the Moment
Jon Kabat Zinn, one of the top mindfulness leaders and unarguably the father of the art defines it as, “Paying attention; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally.”
Mindfulness is an art that enables a human to be fully present in the current moment and be aware of where he/she is and what they are doing without getting overwhelmed or being too reactive to the surroundings. Simply put, it is the art of being in the moment, in the here and now. The key idea of mindfulness is to be completely attentive to the present and focus on the specific ongoing things.
If you are thinking about how it applies to our lives, let’s take an example. We all have driven the car somewhere and arrived at a specific destination without any memory of the entire journey. Such an act is the opposite of mindfulness where we slip into the so-called ‘autopilot’ mode. According to research, 47% of average individuals slip into this autopilot mode all the time. This is why we must mind our present time instead of being in a dreamlike state.
In a way, being mindful is taking control of the steering wheel and be aware of your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and the surroundings all the time. Most importantly, mindfulness is an awakened state of mind that is non-judgmental and impartial towards everything you sense and feel.
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An Eye Opener
Mindfulness training helps individuals in paving an intense path in life and equips them with the ability to direct their attention on priorities without getting distracted by thoughts. It helps the mind settle down and stay at ease to improve the concentration and cognitive memory. Mindfulness also helps in making conscious choices to ensure you do not step on stress triggers and go down the path of unwanted thought patterns. A mindfulness training empowers you to create a higher state of awareness to thwart off negativity and safeguard your boundaries with an awakened sense of understanding.
Mindfulness doesn’t require any type of prior knowledge or a path in exile. It is applicable as a lifestyle in your life. Remember Mindfulness is –
- Not exotic or an obscure art to learn.
- It’s something that becomes a habit in your life instead of an additional, special thing to do.
- It doesn’t require you to change yourself in terms of beliefs, social circle, or organizations.
- It can be done by absolutely anyone, right from children to elderlies.
- It is evidence-based and not derived from faith. Thus as a science with proof, it provides positive benefits for a healthy, happy life at work and home.
Mindfulness vs. Meditation
It is common to assume that mindfulness is meditation but such is not the case. Yes, meditative practice is a part of mindfulness but there is more to it than one perceives. One of the biggest differences between the two is that meditation provides a temporary state of mind during the act while mindfulness trains you to stay in that state all the time.
Nothing states it better than the American Psychological Association’s mindfulness article that says, “…a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment. In this sense, mindfulness is a state and not a trait. While it might be promoted by certain practices or activities, such as meditation, it is not equivalent to or synonymous with them.”
Mindfulness helps to promote positivism in life and provides with the necessary tools to cope up with anxiety, stress, depression, while boosting the psychological well-being, provide better physical pain management, and improving the memory. A person with mindfulness training has better control over his/her emotions and the ability to switch to a more positive mindset and work towards becoming a happier individual. This not only brings a balance in their individual lives but also improves their relationships in personal as well as the professional front.