What are the Qualities of Mindfulness


What are the Qualities of Mindfulness
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Unless you have been living on Mars in recent years, you will have noticed how more and more people are talking about mindfulness and how it benefits their life. The definition of mindfulness is far much deeper than merely being in the present moment, although this is the most basic part of the concept.

 

 

While we are constantly told that mindfulness meditation and a daily mindfulness practice will alter our lives for the better, many of us are still unaware of the way in which this happens.

 

 

In this article, we are going to be looking at the qualities associated with mindfulness and what changes you can expect to see when you start living the mindful experience.

 

 

What Are The Three Components Of Mindfulness?

 

 

Intention, awareness and attitude; these are the three components of mindfulness. But what does this actually mean? Each of these traits is a characteristic that can be developed through paying attention to the present moment through a mindfulness practice.

 

 

Intention relates to the intent to cultivate your awareness and keep returning to it throughout your life. Awareness itself is observing your thoughts and feelings in the present moment, paying attention to each feeling or though as it arises. Attitude refers to your attitude and how your view others and the world. A mindfulness attitude should be non-judging, kind and curious.

 

 

Each of these characteristics of mindfulness work with one another and compliment one another. But what is most interesting about this concept is that mindfulness is not something that we are automatically programmed to do.

 

 

In fact, there is a suggestion that mindfulness is completely separate from our default mode and this is why so many people have to dedicate their lives to practicing mindfulness and developing their skills.

 

 

What Are 3 Positive Effects Of Mindfulness?

 

 

The effects and benefits of the mindful experience are plenty but most people will find that they benefit in similar ways. There are typically three areas that we need to focus our attention on.

 

 

     

      • In terms of the physical body, you may notice a connection between your mindfulness activities and a reduction in heart rate, stress, headaches, blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems and sleep. If you often have pain sensations, using the mind can alleviate these.

      • Forming a deep connection with other people is one the great advantages of mindfulness. You may start enjoying the company of other people more, experiencing new emotions like compassion, love and joy. This practice gives us the opportunity to experience greater wellbeing and a more pleasurable experience of life. You will have a greater sense of fulfilment and take much more enjoyment from little sensations and situations.

      • Your mental health can be vastly improved once you start placing a significant amount of attention on a mindfulness practice. Many doctors and health practitioners are now prescribing mindfulness and meditation to aid in the treatment of certain conditions like anxiety and depression. It is even proven that practices like these have a physical effect on the brain.

     

     

     

     

    What Are The 9 Attitudes Of Mindfulness?

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    In 1979, a program called mindfulness based stress reduction, for reducing stress in terminally ill patients was developed by Jon Kabat Zinn of the University of Massachusetts. Jon Kabat Zinn is a biologist with many years of experience under his belt and developing the mindfulness based stress reduction program was a pivotal point in his career.

    But while this may have helped Job Kabat Zinn earn a name for himself, the MBSR program also gained notoriety for its positive effects on the participants. According to Jon Kabat Zinn from the University of Massachusetts, there are nine attitudes or traits that a person should have when practicing mindfulness.

    He also explains that while these are wonderful in theory, in reality humans find it very difficult to engage in mindfulness and this is because we are simply not naturally wired to do this.

    His description of mindfulness tells us that a lot of people have gotten into the thinking that they are an enlightened being when the reality is that they are not. This attitude is not conducive to practicing mindfulness and whatever you may be thinking, you need to get into the mindset of acceptance; acceptance of who we are in reality.

    Once we do this, things suddenly become a lot easier and exercising that mindfulness muscle feels a lot more natural.

    Non Judging

    When we think of judgemental thoughts, we often think about the definition in terms of judging other people, but judgement is any form of opinion on a subject. For example, Jon Kabat Zinn tells us that if you are observing the breathing, you may hear thoughts like ‘I’m not doing this right’ or ‘This is boring’; these are judgements and it can be so difficult to stop this.

    However, non judgment is the first step in a successful mindfulness meditation practice. It allows us to recgonize that we do indeed judge ourselves and rather than chastising ourselves for this, we can look at these judgements from a distance and observe them.

    Acceptance

    To be accepting does not necessarily mean that we need to succumb to things in a passive manner. Conversely, acceptance is more about taking the current moment and situation as it is, whatever that may be and accepting that if we try to force change, this will not give us a positive outcome.

    In most cases, we refuse to look at any given situation and acknowledge that there is a problem. More often than not, we will try to cover up our suffering and make excuses for why it is happened. If we never accept things the way that they are, then we will never be able to work to make them better.

    This applies to all aspects of our lives from our thoughts and feelings through to everything we go through in life. Once we realize this. giving up the energy we have put into trying to force a situation and putting that strength into other areas of our lives, we begin to notice that positive changes start to happen.

    Patience

    When we are children, we have to learn how to talk, how to communicate and many other concepts related to our very survival. Now, while it is entirely possible to survive without mindfulness, it is true that our existence will not be as enriched.

    However, in order to see changes, we must be patient. We did not learn the basics of life overnight, nor will be learn how to be mindful is just one session.

    To grow our awareness and mindful skills, we need to work on them. These are not things that merely naturally arise and much like anything else, these skills needs to be honed.

    As humans, we are naturally wired to want things right away. Research studies have shown that as a species, we can be impatient even down to seconds.

    Beginners Mind

    Can you think of an experience where you applied a particular idea or trait to another person because ‘that’s just the way that they are?’ Throughout life, you will experience different people and your first impression of them will often remain with you.

    As an observer of others, which we all are, we typically pick up on the most prominent traits. If I were to meet you today and you were especially angry, my opinion of you might be forged in such a way that I believe that is who you are. If we meet again, and you are having a bad day and are angry again, this would solidify my opinion.

    However, I know nothing else about you, I don’t know that anger is your default mode, this is merely an opinion I formed based on two brief meetings.

    It is very easy to make up your mind about another person based on aspects about them that you experience. But what we need to remember for mindfulness purposes is that we are all constantly changing.

    Where you may have gone through a period in your life where you felt particularly angry, since that point, you may have experienced things that have changed that part of you. Years down the line, when we meet again, I may tell someone ‘This person is always angry.’ But upon meeting you again, I see that you have evolved.

    To become aware that our reality is always shifting can help to propel your mindful practice forward no end.

    Trust

    So often, we find that we try to force mindfulness. We attempt to force the mind into healing itself and growing when we do not need to.

    Just take a look at the way your body works. The human body is a miraculous wonder, it is not something that needs all of your will to keep working; on the contrary, your body will keep going all by itself. The heart will beat, you will keep breathing, without even thinking about it. What’s best of all is that we trust this process and we don’t try to help it.

    In the same way, we need to apply this to our mindfulness practice. If your body can operate all by itself, then so can your mind and once you become aware of this this gives us the ability to let go and allow our brain to take contol.

    Non Striving

    According to John Kabat Zinn, in one of the many articles he has been interviewed for, mindfulness practice is something of a paradox. This is because to develop your practice, you to do nothing to make something happen.

    But while it may feeling as though you are doing nothing, you are observing the present moment, your thoughts and feelings and watching how the situation unfolds. Using your attention this way can help your practice enormously.

    Typically, we are used to placing all our attention on how we will fix a problem and trying to solve it. Mindfulness works in different ways entirely and this is a sense that we need to get used to.

    Letting Go

    When you go into a mindfulness meditation practice, there are many sensations, thoughts and feelings that you may notice. It can be very easy to use this as an opportunity to mend any issues. However, when we let go and accept that there is nothing we can do to help the situation, we start to see results.

    As humans, it is difficult to let go and just allow sensations, feelings, thoughts and situations to ‘just be’ but this is a quality that we need to pay close attention to. One of the best ways to avoid stress is to let go and you will find that you experience a lot less suffering and worrying when you do this.

    Gratitude and Generosity

    It is proven that being grateful can have a dramatic positive impact on certain mental health conditions, as detailed in this article. But aside from this, the physical body can benefit. You might find it challenging but something as simple as bringing your attention to three things that you are grateful for before going to sleep can be a positive experience for body and mind.

    Learning More

    A lot of people believe that once you crack mindfulness, you can happily live your life and experience better well being and health for both the body and mind. However, these thoughts are not true.

    To gain the most benefit from mindfulness and meditation, you need to be prepared to practice continually. There are meditation schools that offer courses to help you understand the meaning of the practice.

    You might also develop your own practice including such things as a daily nature walk. As you walk, think about the body sensations you are feeling or the feelings that the natural world invoke.

    Meditation is an excellent practice and again allows you to focus on body sensations and feelings. This can again be simple, breathing in positivity and releasing tension on the out breath.

    FAQs

    Q: What is mindfulness and how can it help us?

    A: Mindfulness means paying attention to what is happening in the present moment in a non-judgmental and impartial way. Regular practice of mindfulness asks us to become more mindful, present, and open-minded. It helps us develop patience to wait till our reactiveness settles and the water becomes clear to see things in a new way.

    Q: What are the characteristics of a mindful person?

    A: A mindful person is someone who has developed the ability to observe their own thoughts and feelings without becoming reactive or judgmental. They are also able to see things as they are without getting stuck in their own biases or preconceptions.

    Q: How can meditation help us cultivate mindfulness?

    A: Meditation is a key aspect of mindfulness practice. By taking an active role in cultivating mindful awareness through regular meditation, we become more aware of our thoughts and emotions in the present moment. This can help us become more nonjudgmental and develop equanimity in our daily lives.

    Q: Who is Jon Kabat-Zinn?

    A: Jon Kabat-Zinn is a renowned mindfulness teacher and author who helped bring mindfulness into the mainstream through his work at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the 1970s and 80s.

    Q: What are some other aspects of mindfulness?

    A: Mindfulness also involves becoming more aware of our physical sensations and the environment around us, as well as developing greater compassion and empathy for others.

    Q: Does mindfulness mean we should never react to anything?

    A: No, mindfulness doesn’t mean we become completely unresponsive. Rather, it means we develop the ability to observe our reactions without getting lost in them or becoming reactive in an unhelpful way.

    Q: How does mindfulness help us deal with reactivity?

    A: Mindfulness helps us become more aware of our own reactivity and develop more impartial ways of responding to challenging situations.

    Q: What does it mean to be non-judgmental in mindfulness practice?

    A: Being non-judgmental means we become more aware of our own biases and preconceptions, and try to observe our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them.

    Q: How can mindfulness help us in our daily lives?

    A: Mindfulness can help us become more present and less reactive in our daily lives, as well as develop greater compassion and empathy for others.

    Q: What does the expression “wait till your mud settles and the water becomes clear” mean in the context of mindfulness practice?

    A: This expression means we need to cultivate patience and wait until our own reactivity settles before we can see things more clearly in a non-judgmental way.

    Conclusion

    In this article, we have explored the qualities that practicing mindfulness can bring about.

    Mindfulness is not a complex concept; it merely involves bringing your awareness onto what is happening the the present moment. By focusing your attention this way, you allow the mind to become much healthier and therefore, you will feel a greater sense of happiness, satisfaction and peace.

    It can be done in many ways, placing the awareness on certain feelings or sensations and letting go of worries, accepting that ‘what will be, will be.’ Whatever works for you. But this is not something you can develop overnight, in order to develop your mindfulness, you must practice and according to Jon Kabat Zinn, an expert in the area, one must have nine qualities to be successful. Honing these skills and practising will see your mindfulness being taken to a new level.

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