“Mindfulness is the practice of purposely bringing one’s attention in the present moment without evaluation, a skill one develops through meditation or other training.”–Wikipedia.
Mindfulness differs from having your mind full of things; while the mind is used for problem-solving, it is often difficult to get the mind to focus on the present as it wanders away to dreamland, with various imaginations, fiction, and past events. Mindfulness requires conscious and intentional efforts to focus the mind. This practice is primarily accomplished through constant meditation and training, in which the mind is forced to think, analyze, and focus in order to find a solution.
Continuous meditation and patience are required to teach the mind to be still and focused.
Mindfulness in philosophy dates back 2,500 years to Buddhist psychology, where the word Sati is translated to mean mindfulness, which means awareness, attention, and remembrance in their understanding. This act is now practiced in other religions such as Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and others.
Kabat Zinn developed the mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MSBR) course at Massachusetts Medical School in 1990 with the goal of combating stress and pain in the participants. Kabat-techniques Zinn’s include breathing meditation, Yoga, and body scanning. Since then, these techniques have been used to treat conditions and addictions such as depression and drug abuse.
Some of the advantages of mindfulness practice are as follows:
– Increases kindness, compassion, and acceptance of oneself and others.
– Improves self-control.
– Reduces the impact of fatigue and tiredness.
– Improves relaxation and concentration.
– Enhances the ability to tolerate.
– Enhances the ability to remain calm and composed.
– Enhances concentration and clarity.
– Enhances emotional intelligence.
– Alleviates anxiety.
– It alleviates depression.
– Increases happiness.
– Strengthens the ability to tolerate.
– Improves sleep disorder symptoms.
– Aids in pain management.
– Enhances one’s quality of life.
– Improves one’s sense of well-being.
Mindfulness can be practiced in a variety of ways, including:
- Meditation – This is the practice of concentrating one’s mind on a specific object, sound, concept, activity, or thought in order to achieve a clear mental state.
- Maintaining a Gratitude Journal – This entails keeping a journal and writing down positive feelings and thoughts. This forces the mind to focus on the positives rather than the negatives, allowing you to be more mindful of the positives. Journals can be kept manually or digitally.
- Conscious Breathing – “The way to release all the tension is with our mindful breath,” said renowned teacher Thick Nhat Hanh. As a result, we always begin with mindfulness. Conscious breathing exercise is one method of practicing mindfulness because it trains the mind to focus by allowing you to focus on your breathing.
- Mindful Mantras – This is the use of affirmative and positive language, such as “I am unique” and “I am blessed.” The constant repetition of words like this assists the mind in focusing on the positives.
- Exercising – While exercising, the mind is conditioned to focus on a target and is free of wandering thoughts; this is both mental and physical training.
As important and intriguing as mindfulness may sound, it is not suitable for everyone. For example, someone who has experienced trauma may find that practicing mindfulness brings back unpleasant memories and distress. If mindfulness is to be practiced on such a person, it will necessitate the involvement of a professional who can help combine mindfulness and treatment while taking into account the type of trauma such a person has experienced.