- What is mindfulness?
- What is the benefit of practicing mindfulness?
- How do we practice mindfulness?
- How did we become disconnected?
- What is the result of the disconnection?
- Is it difficult to learn mindfulness?
- How long will it take to learn?
Mindfulness is paying attention moment by moment without judgement. It is the willingness to be fully present regardless of the situation.
It is how we reconnect with ourselves and the world around us. Most of us have disconnected from the present moment to some degree due to chronic stress. Mindfulness reverses that cycle of stress and allows us to live more fully and gain a sense of control in our lives.
We pay attention to our bodies, breath, thoughts and emotions in meditation and in our everyday experiences. The willingness to be present for all situations is a key part of the practice and the patience to keep coming back to the present moment allows mindfulness to fully infuse into our lives.
We cope with chronic stress by disconnecting from the present moment. That disconnection results in getting stuck in the stress cycle. In the short term this ability to disconnect is a protective mechanism but sustained over a period of time becomes problematic due to the inability to fully experience and understand ourselves and the world around us.
The following sequence expresses the domino effect of the chronic stress cycle beginning with the inability to focus in the present moment, moving on to the disconnection and beyond.
To understand mindfulness is easy but to put it into practice takes commitment. Our culture is not supportive of the present moment experience and instills the reverse habits in us from an early age. It takes a determination to stick with creating new habits and patterns in order to turn the tide in the direction of the present moment experience.
It is different for everyone. The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program is for those who have tried to practice mindfulness, but have a hard time with making it a daily practice. It is also for people who are new to mindfulness, and who would like to explore a new approach to daily struggles of stress, pain, or illness. Start the journey to the rest of my life!