Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and co-founder of Mindfulness defines it as:
"Paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally."
Being Mindful is an important life-skill; it is a mental muscle that is scientifically proven to improve attention, focus, emotional regulation and stress control.
It is the skill of being able to focus attention away from the thought stream to be fully present in the here and now. It is sensing mode rather than thinking mode.
You can practice mindfulness informally by using the senses to focus on everyday activities such as:
- Brushing teeth
- Having a drink
- Getting dressed
- Waiting at traffic light/in a queue
- Walking to the bus stop or to your car
You can also do formal practice by using meditation, visualisation, breathing exercises and body scans to develop the mindfulness muscle.
Useful resources which explain mindfulness and have useful activities include: