Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment. It’s paying attention in the here and now. Attention to the things that are happening in this very moment.
This may sound easy, but how many times is our attention redirected by our thoughts? Although thinking is undeniably very handy, as it allows us to make plans and solve difficult problems, at the same time, it often triggers many problems. Our mind can get easily lost in endless thinking (worrying and rumination).
The goal of Mindfulness interventions is to teach participants to become aware of body sensations, thoughts, and emotions and to relate to them with an open, non-judgmental attitude through formal and informal practice. Research has consistently shown that mindfulness is an important predictor of well-being. Practicing mindfulness has been associated with higher levels of life satisfaction, more positive affect, less negative affect, and sense of autonomy and competence.
A great way to get started with mindfulness are with the 9 Attitudes of Mindfulness. The attitudes support each other and are deeply interconnected. Practicing one will lead to the others. Your ability to bring these attitudes forward in your mindfulness practice will have a great deal to do with your long-term success and ability to communicate with others.
9 Attitudes of Mindfulness
- Non-judging. A non-judging attitude describes impartial observation of our experience—not labelling thoughts, feelings, or sensations as good or bad, right or wrong, fair or unfair, but taking note of thoughts, feelings, or sensations in each.
- Beginner’s mind. This attitude allows us to be receptive to new possibilities and prevents us from getting stuck in the rut of our With curiosity we see things as new and fresh, as if for the first time. Looking at something from a child’s perspective.
- This wise attitude reminds us that things unfold in their own time. Patient openness to each moment can be particularly helpful to invoke when the mind is agitated and wandering.
- Trust your intuition, your own inner goodness, your own wisdom and your own authority, even if you make “mistakes” along the way. In practicing mindfulness, you are practicing taking responsibility for being yourself and learning to listen to and trust your gut.
- Non-striving. A non-striving attitude means not trying to get anywhere other than where you Trying less and being more allows your goals to happen in a more organic way without worry, frustration, and irritation.
- Acceptance describes the embrace of the true, deep understanding of how things really are. It is a pause, a period of allowing, of letting be, of clear seeing in the moment.
- Letting When things feel pleasant we tend to hold on to them and conjure them up again and again. Let go of what “was” and embrace what is in this moment.
- Gratitude is a way to protect your mind from constantly complaining and finding the negative in things. To enjoy the present moment with a sense of reverence and humility. By slowing down and bringing gratitude into our present moment we bring a sense of delight and focus on the positive in life.
- Being generous recognizes that there is more happiness found in giving than clinging on to things. Generosity embodies a warm heart and kind attitude.
Kabat-Zinn, J. (2013). Full Catastrophe Living, Revised Edition: How to cope with stress, pain, and illness using mindfulness meditation.
Recovered Mindfully. “9 Attitudes Jon Kabat-Zinn.” Youtube. Youtube Video April 24, 2015, Web 21 September 2018.