Mindfulness is an ancient approach to life that is now being increasingly used as a tool to manage both medical and psychological conditions. This idea maintains that being in the present moment, and having awareness about what we are doing allows for more clarity and acceptance.
What does being “in the moment” really mean? This statement reflects the idea of being aware of what is going on in the here and now, being aware of our experiences. When we are more deeply aware of our thoughts, emotions, and physical body, we are able to be in the present moment.
Habits of thought and feelings such as negative thoughts, anger, or fear tend to take over and consume us at times. Life can sometimes feel like we are on autopilot, and we are just going through the motions.
Often our thoughts are in the past or future, dwelling on past upsets or future wishes and fantasies. By being mindful, we are not surrounded by a cloud of busy thoughts and do not act out of habit or with impulse. Instead of becoming lost in the moment, mindfulness allows us to be fully present and connected.
When we are mindful, we can become more relaxed, achieve greater inner balance, and cope more effectively with stressful situations. As well, we are able to approach life with greater acceptance, compassion, patience, and less judgment and distraction. This way of living allows us to improve our own lives as well as our connection with others.