February 6, 2017

What Does Mindfulness Really Mean?

BY Caitlin Delohery IN Mindfulness 0 Comment

As we continue our series on mindfulness, let’s discuss what we really mean. Mindfulness is a buzzword that’s tossed around a lot. It’s becoming one of those trendy words that can get overused to point of confusion (e.g., “literally”).

Simply put, mindfulness is the awareness of the present moment without any judgement of it.

Mindfulness means to sloooooow down and get present with the here and now. Wherever you are, that is. It could be at work, at home, in a meeting, at the gym, in traffic, at the airport. Being there without distracted thoughts, worries, or narratives. Or, if you have those thoughts, to recognize you are having them and to be ok with it.   

Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn is basically the Bill Gates of mindfulness. Since 1979, he has been treating patients with his multi-week mindfulness program, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Listen to him explain mindfulness or read one of his many books for a great info on the topic.

You may also hear the words mindfulness and meditation used interchangeably. But, they’re not the same thing. Jason Marsh from the Greater Good Science Center explains, “Mindfulness meditation is one form of meditation, but it’s not the only form. And formal meditation is one way to practice mindfulness, but it’s not the only way. Once you learn mindfulness skills, you can practice them at almost any moment of the day—sitting at your computer, stuck in traffic, even eating.”

True, many mindfulness practices are about sitting quietly and breathing, or doing exercises like yoga, tai chi, and qigong. However, you can practice while driving, walking, or standing in line.

And anyone can do it! No prerequisites required. Of course there are some tips and Dos & Don’ts. But basically, you sit there and just be with your thoughts without judging or trying so hard to be perfect. Start exactly where you are.

Looking for more to inspire your new mindfulness practice? Check out our case for starting a mindfulness practice for your business.

Caitlin got her roots in inbound marketing before it got its name. As a teenager in the 90s, she promoted her independently published magazines by writing about the importance of indie publishing all over AOL. Now, Caitlin is passionate about moving people and society forward. She follows thought leaders in the National Speakers Association, the staffing industry, and all human rights movements. She loves learning and helping people learn. That’s why she writes content – to help people learn to work smarter.

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