Mindfulness refers to our capacity for being present and attentive to what occurs within and around us, moment-to-moment. Mindfulness also refers to our capacity for approaching our lives and the daily challenges and decisions we face in a reflective and ethical manner and with kindness and compassion for others and ourselves. Being mindful increases engagement with the present moment and allows for a clearer understanding of how thoughts and emotions impact our state of mind, our behaviors and ultimately our overall health and quality of life. Mindfulness is a skill we can develop through practice that promotes overall well being and happiness and helps us more effectively manage the stress of our modern, busy lives.
Consistent mindfulness practice increases our capacity for attentiveness, presence, awareness and emotion regulation, and generally promotes a more open, relaxed, less reactive and more flexible and resilient state of mind. Current neuroscience research indicates that consistent mindfulness practice significantly improves overall brain health, performance and resilience.
Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally (Kabat-Zinn, 1994)
Bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis (Marlatt & Kristeller, 1999)
A state of psychological freedom that occurs when attention remains quiet and limber, without attachment to any particular point of view (Martin, 1997).
… a kind of non-elaborative, nonjudgmental, present-centered awareness in which each thought, feeling, or sensation that arises in the attentional field is acknowledged and accepted as it is (Kabat-Zinn, 1990, 1998; Shapiro & Schwartz, 1999, 2000; Teasdale, 1999; Segal, Williams, & Teasdale, 2002; as cited in Bishop et al., 2004
The first component [of mindfulness] involves the self-regulation of attention so that it is maintained on immediate experience, thereby allowing for increased recognition of mental events in the present moment. The second component involves adopting a particular orientation toward one’s experiences in the present moment, an orientation that is characterized by curiosity, openness, and acceptance (Bishop, Lau, and colleagues, 2004).