What is Mindfulness?

Leading scientists in mindfulness have arrived at a 2-part definition* that explains what mindfulness really is.

Mindfulness is:

  • the self-regulation of your attention - whether it be attending to a present emotion, thought, belief, impulse, sensation, or something in your surrounding environment, and 
  • approaching it with an attitude of curiosity / openness / acceptance.

Mindfulness is about shifting in the way we relate to ourselves. It's about seeing and experiencing ourselves in a different way. We are taking control of what we focus on and keeping our attention alive in the present moment. Mindfulness helps us not to change our thoughts but to relate to our thoughts in a different way - a way that is balanced and nonjudgmental, curious and accepting. 

 

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*Bishop, S. R., Lau, M., Shapiro, S. L., Carlson, L., Anderson, N. D., Carmody, J., ... Devins, G. (2004). Mindfulness: A proposed operational definition. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 11, 230–241.