What is Mindfulness?

“The awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose in the present moment, without judgement.”


- Jon Kabat-Zinn

We can allow our natural state of mindfulness to emerge when we take a pause or break from our habitual way of thinking or operating on autopilot. During this pause we instead tune into our senses, breathe, body, and feelings with kindness. Our mind is open and curious to the present and not preoccupied with the past or future.

The practice of mindfulness is basically the same for everyone but each person experiences mindfulness differently. The benefits of mindfulness practice are many and can include:

  • Increased awareness of one’s self, emotions, beliefs, and motivation

  • A shift from impulsive reaction to responding with awareness

  • The release of good mood transmitters in the brain

  • Better navigation through everyday stresses, worry, and difficult emotions

  • The reduction of stress-induced inflammation

  • Improved digestion and lower blood pressure

  • The curbing of addictive behaviors

  • Alleviation of depression

  • Improved breathing and immune functioning

  • A greater empathy towards others

  • A more positive attitude and feeling of gratitude

Many people experience mindful moments while in the flow of exercise, engaged with problem solving, playing games, or being with nature. We can integrate mindfulness on purpose into a multitude of activities such as walking, eating, listening, talking, decision making, organizing, parenting, washing the dishes, gardening, brushing our teeth, and driving. Mindfulness can provide a sense of full embodiment of our everyday experiences.

Mindfulness is not:

  • A religion although religions do have mindful practices in the form of prayer, contemplations, and meditation

  • A form of hypnosis or mind control

  • A quick fix to problems and difficult emotions

  • About success or failure or getting rid of thoughts