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What exactly is mindfulness?

Sometimes referred to as mindfulness meditation practice. To put is simply, mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Mindfulness meditation practice involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.

Understanding the Three Aspects of Mindfulness

Intention – Your intention is what you hope to get from practising mindfulness.

Attention – Mindfulness is about paying attention to your inner or outer experience.

Attitude – Mindfulness involves paying attention to certain attitudes, such as curiosity, acceptance and kindness.

Four domains or aspects

Mindfulness of the body (kaya) – Mindfulness of feelings or sensations (vedanā) – Mindfulness of mind or consciousness (citta); and Mindfulness of dhammās.

What are some benefits of mindfulness?

‘The ability to be fully present in the moment’

You may have heard that mindfulness meditation practice can have numerous benefits. Everything from decreased stress and sadness to increased levels focus and happiness.

Mindfulness improves well-being. 

Increasing your capacity for mindfulness supports many attitudes that contribute to a satisfied life. Being mindful makes it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur. Helps you become fully engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events. By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past. Are less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others.

Mindfulness improves physical health. 

If greater well-being isn’t enough of an incentive, scientists have discovered that mindfulness techniques help improve physical health in a number of ways. Mindfulness can: help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties.

Mindfulness improves mental health. 

In recent years, psychotherapists have turned to mindfulness meditation practice as an important element in the treatment of a number of problems, including: depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, couples’ conflicts, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

How do I know if I’m being mindful?

There’s actually a 15-item questionnaire researchers use to measure mindfulness called the Mindful Attention Awareness Score (MAAS), that you can take to see where you stand — the higher the score, the greater your ability to be mindful.

Scored lower than you’d like?

Don’t sweat it! It’s simply a sign that you may benefit from some mindfulness meditation practice.