Mindfulness is total focus in the present moment, zeroed in on a single activity. Being mindful means being conscious and aware without judgment. Mindful mindfulness is being conscious of staying in the state of mindfulness.There are several benefits of mindfulness. By staying conscious of thoughts and feelings, self-awareness increases. Being non-judgmental boosts self-acceptance. Staying focused on only one thing increases awareness, which leads to fewer injuries—you see the trip hazard, know where the knife blade is, or swerve before your car is struck. Mindfulness is complete engagement in what you are doing, so you notice things you might have otherwise overlooked. Dismissing thoughts not applicable to the present moment improves focus for whatever you are doing, so you can appreciate experiences at a deeper level. Being mindful puts you in touch with your natural state, which means you are more aware of your instincts and intuition. This increased awareness lets you avoid unsafe situations or environments. Taking time to meditate—one way to be mindful—has proven health rewards. All mindfulness benefits result in reduced stress.
Even though I’m well aware of the many benefits of mindfulness, the more my day is packed with tasks, duties, and chores, the farther away I am from mindfulness. The less mindful I am, the more stressed I become. I forget things, suffer injuries, hurt others’ feelings, and miss opportunities. So, I decided to include mindfulness as a daily intention (see Setting Intentions to Accomplish Goals and Improve Attitude).
Often I stray from being mindful and my stress level rises, which is my clue I’ve wandered from mindfulness. I don’t beat myself up or judge, I just bring the intention back into focus. I come back to being in mindful mindfulness. The more I operate in a mindful state, the longer I am able to stay in mindfulness.
To further explore mindful mindfulness, I selected specific activities I do regularly, like eating, working, and exercising, to define what it means to be more mindful when doing them. In future posts in this series, I will share my insights.