What is mindfulness?
“The awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally” (Kabat-Zinn, in Purser, 2015)
Mindfulness refers to a state of mind where we are aware of what is going on inside and outside ourselves in the present moment, that is in “the here and now”. We are not distracted by thoughts or worries about the past or the future.
Being mindful enables you to be in the present moment without making judgements on your thoughts and emotions. Practices such as meditation allow us to access a state of mindfulness and create the mental space we need to be present.
“Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us” (“What Is Mindfulness?,” 2014).
The benefits of mindfulness
Using mindfulness can train the brain to stand back and recognise negative and unhelpful thoughts before we express them in our emotions and actions.
In addition to the mental health benefits, mindfulness can also have a positive effect on our physical health. Mindfulness can reduces anxiety and increases positive thinking, for example giving us the motivation to partake in exercise.
At Take Ten Minutes we believe combining guided meditations with physical outdoor activity enhances the benefits of mindfulness on mental and physical health.
Research has found many benefits associated with practising mindfulness, some of these include:
Reduced stress levels
Fewer negative emotions
Improved attention & focus
Coping with chronic pain