Mindfulness has many different definitions. Some of these include:
The Greater Good: Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them.
Mindful.org: It suggests that the mind is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, to the space you’re moving through.
Dictionary.com: The state or quality of being mindful or aware of something.
Jon Kabat-Zinn: Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally
Thich Nhat Hanh: Mindfulness shows us what is happening in our bodies, our emotions, our minds, and in the world. Through mindfulness, we avoid harming ourselves and others.
The simplest way to think of mindfulness is just being aware. Some might think that you have to always be present to be mindful, but the truth is its very normal for the mind to drift more often than not. It is important to notice and be aware of this, and try to be as present as possible. When you are present, you are not thinking of the past or future, which is where most of our thinking occurs. If we are too consumed by something that happened yesterday or something that might happen tomorrow, we cause ourselves lots of unnecessary stress and preoccupation. I think of mindfulness as a tool, a way of live. Being mindful is being aware of yourself and the world and then putting intention into practice, which is what creates lasting change. I will have another blog post on putting intention into action, but a quick example is becoming aware of an unhealthy habit, and taking the action and steps to change. Becoming aware and mindful is the first step and the more aware you are of your emotions, actions, thoughts, and surroundings, the easier life become.