Mindfulness is a practice whereby we pay attention to what is happening in the present moment without judging this. So we are bringing awareness to what we are noticing in the present moment, and allowing this to be just as it is, without forming an opinion towards it, without attaching to it or trying to push it away. This practice can relate to ourselves, to others and also to the environment we find ourselves in.
What we can pay attention to is our thoughts, our feelings, sensations that we notice in the body such as tightness in our shoulders, a fluttering in our stomach. We can notice shifts of energy within our bodies. As we begin to practise noticing these subtle changes in our thought patterns, our feelings, sensations within our bodies, we also start to realise that these are continually shifting and that nothing stays fixed.
It is our tendency to want to cling onto pleasant thoughts and feelings, nice sensations, and our tendency to want to move away from uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. When we are able to just acknowledge what we are aware of, without judging this, then we start to notice how they arise and then pass.
As we begin to see these patterns more clearly, we start to become more aware of the choices available to us. We start to notice when we might have an immediate reaction to something that happens, and when we are able to pause and notice the arising sensations and energies around this, to reflect on this, and have the possibility to give a considered response instead.
We are able to start bringing more awareness to how we relate to ourselves, to others and to the environment in which we find ourselves. Using a mindfulness approach in this way can offer much to our health and wellbeing.