The Art of Being Mindful

Mindfulness is about engaging the whole self in what is happening in the present moment. It can be rather easy for our physical selves to be in one place while our minds are elsewhere. Often times, the places our minds go to are rather unpleasant. For instance, you may be at work or school but rather than listening to the teacher or trying to perform your job task to the best of your ability, you find yourself thinking about an interaction with another person that left you feeling angry or hurt. Your mind repeats the troubling interaction, you have various thoughts about how terrible it was, and this all does nothing except leave you feeling more hurt or angry. This process is neither helpful or necessary. Furthermore, while your thoughts are focused on this event that happened in the past, you could be missing out on moments of value or joy in the present. Mindfulness practice enables the self to enjoy and/or appreciate what is happening in the moment while also developing the ability to both tolerate distressing feelings and cope with them in a constructive manner. Simply put, being mindful improves the quality of life.