What is mindfulness in simple terms?

by Raquel Torres

Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. Based on the Oxford Dictionary is the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

Recent scientific studies shared by the American Psychological Association shows that focusing on the present can have a positive impact on health and well-being. Mindfulness-based treatments have been shown to reduce anxiety and depression. There’s also evidence that mindfulness can lower blood pressure and improve sleep. It may even help people cope with pain.

Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of the research-backed stress-reduction program Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), explains how mindfulness lights up parts of our brains that aren’t normally activated when we’re mind-lessly running on autopilot.

What Are The Three Components or Qualities Of Mindfulness?

  • Intention – choosing to cultivate your awareness.
  • Attention – to the present moment, sensations, and thoughts.
  • Attitude – being kind and grateful.

The 7 core Attitude of mindfulness:

They apply directly, moment by moment and day by day, as you cultivate and deepen mindfulness. These attitudes are:

  1. Non-judging. Be an impartial witness to your own experience.
  2. Patience. A form of wisdom, patience demonstrates that we accept the fact that things sometimes unfold in their own time.
  3. Beginner’s Mind. Remaining open and curious allows us to be receptive to new possibilities and prevents us from getting stuck in the rut of our own expertise.
  4. Trust. Develop a basic trust with yourself and your feelings. Know it’s OK to make mistakes.
  5. Non-Striving. Attitude of being rather than doing, the goal is to be with yourself right here, right now. Pay attention to what is unfolding without trying to change anything.
  6. Acceptance. See things as they are. This sets the stage for acting appropriately in your life no matter what is happening.
  7. Letting Go. When we pay attention to our inner experience, we discover there are certain thoughts, emotions and situations the mind wants to hold onto. Let your experience be what it is right now.

How can I practice mindfulness all day? Bring your attention to the present moment by:

  • Having a deep breath.
  • Focusing on your five senses; eyesight, hearing, taste, touch and smell.
  • Observing your thoughts and detaching from them (you are not your thoughts and much less those of others).
  • Having Conscious-Mindful eating.
  • Practicing active listening.
  • Observing your surroundings.

Raquel Torres, MBA is a USAT Elite Certified Coach, Professional Triathlon Coach and Professional Triathlete. Raquel also writes blogs for several magazines and her team Athletic Mentors. Since May 2021 she contributes as a columnist with CNY Latino Newspaper. She shares true life stories with her experiences, also tips and tactics that helps anyone to be their best version. To read about her, head over to cnylatinonewspaper.com and search for her by her name. You can also send questions or comments about her column to the following email: raquel@athleticmentors.com and go to her website at www.raqueltorres.org

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