The Power of Mindfulness

We often do not recognize what is happening inside of us when we are triggered by craving or overwhelming emotion. We often focus our attention on what is going wrong out there. We also do not stick with what we are experiencing. Instead, we do whatever we can to get rid of that feeling— act out, lash out, avoid or numb, etc.

In the most basic way, mindfulness is about focusing your attention on two fundamental questions:

What is happening right now inside me? 


Can I stay with my experience right now? 

Ask yourself these questions right now: What are you feeling in your body—in this moment?

What are you thinking—in this moment?

What are all the feelings you are experiencing—in this moment?

The key is to keep your awareness anchored to right now. 

This is mindful awareness.

Can I stay with my experience right now? 

Pay attention to what is happening right now without avoiding it or judging it. Can you keep your full attention focused on what you are experiencing in this moment, without trying to get rid of it?

If you can ask yourself these two questions throughout your day, you will be practicing mindfulness. You will develop more self-awareness and self-control.

The practice of mindfulness means learning to trust what you are actually experiencing. It takes patience and a willingness to describe what is happening without judgment. Regular practice of mindfulness is a simple and realistic way to develop the power of open awareness. This power can become stronger than the strength of your own negative habits.

Mindfulness practice can be done in two ways: formal and informal. Formal practice involves sitting in a quiet place and having a structured time of mindfulness; for example, a guided meditation. Informal practices are mindfulness techniques you can use in the moment, any time throughout the day—for example, using the Calming breath i.e., taking a deep four-count inhale and a slow six-count exhale. Or the STOP technique through the day generally in a time of stress or impatience you can simply Stop, Take a breath, Observe what’s happening in the body and then Proceed with awareness. These are just a few ways we can begin to increase mindful awareness throughout the day.

Mindful check-in 

Here is a useful script you can read a few times a day. Or listen to the short guided meditation by the same name.

Mindfulness can be used as a pause button in your crazy day. Take a few minutes just to be. Take a break from your worries about the future or regrets about the past. Stop and observe. What are you experiencing in your body, thinking in your mind, and feeling in your heart? Try to do this mindful check-in a few times a day to build your self-awareness.


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