What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness encourages paying attention to what is happening during each moment of your life. With mindfulness, we develop the ability to let go of worries and fears about the future, let go of concerns about the past, and experience the present moment with a sense of calm and curiosity. In a basic way, mindfulness gives us the ability to wake up to our life and stop the automatic way of living, which disconnects us from our body, mind, and relationships.
Why is mindfulness helpful?
When we stop during our day to practice mindful awareness, we often realize our mind and body are in completely different places. This mind/body disconnection is present during a lot of mundane tasks, including brushing our teeth, driving the car, and eating. In fact, if you pay attention to what your mind is doing right now you might notice a fair bit of wandering off and disconnection occurring. Indeed, observing the mind often results in recognizing that our mind is often somewhere else - worrying, making plans, remembering a past problem, or passing judgment. In this way, we live life more from a place of mindlessness than mindfulness. Living mindlessly robs us of the present moment and prevents us from enjoying some of the most enjoyable things about being alive. Learning to wake up to our life and pay attention with mindfulness represents a starting point for reducing stress and connecting our mind and body.