Mindfullness 1: What is Mindfullness?

The dictionary definition of mindfullness describes it as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique. Sounds difficult, and it can be, but it’s not impossible.

Mindfullness is a way of activating your wise mind by taking pieces from both your emotional mind and your reasonable mind and using them both together. Its sort of like if Pinky Pie had a baby with Spock, and that baby is Gandalf.

Practice categorizing your thoughts into what is pure reasonable logic, and what is pure reactionary emotions, and then use the information from both of those responses to form a wiser way of looking at things.

Protip! This is a great opportunity to use CBT!

Take a hold of your mind; notice the thoughts and feelings you’re having and try to identify them as being part of your emotional mind or your reasonable mind, and then try to apply both together to excecise your wise mind.

Make sure you differentiate between thoughts and facts; what are the cold hard facts, and what is merely an interpretation? Its easier to decide how to react in a situation when you are sure what is real and true as opposed to what is assumed.

Something really cool about mindfullness meditation is that it can be done anywhere at any time for however long you need it. Yes, you can light some candles in a dark room, sit cross-legged or lie flat and try to harness the powers of the mind to, I don’t know… swim with dolphins I guess? Although, that wouldn’t really be a mindfullness meditation, that’s just meditation (and it’s fine too, no judgement here!) Mindfullness meditation is the focus on the present. No wandering, no rumination, just here and now.

Your here and now might be grocery shopping. That’s fine, you can practice mindfullness by noticing the colours of the products on the shelf, the tap tap or your feet on the tiled floor, the static in the radio playing pop songs, the smell of manufactured air.

Your here and now might be doing dishes. Great! Notice the temperature of the water on your hands, the shape and texture of each dish, the way the bits of food and debris unstick and float in the water and then sink to the bottom. The puddle you forgot about on the floor and now your sock is wet.

The only things you really shouldn’t do mindfully are things that are meant to take your mind off the present; like watching TV, or daydreaming. Mindfullness is meant to break the cycle of escapism and rumination, to get you back into the present as it is for real and guide you to a better understanding of what is true and real in your world so you can learn to live a true and meaningful life in your reality.