What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a mode of attention characterized by openness, acceptance, and an enhanced ability to respond to the present moment. Being mindful allows for a clearer understanding of how thoughts and emotions impact our health and quality of life. Often our attention follows restrictive and repetitive patterns, which cause us to focus more on the past or future than what is happening right now. Mindfulness practices enable us to recognise and overcome the many ways that we tend to get caught in rumination, distractions and resistance. They make use of the inherent ability of our mind and body to rebalance and sustain well-being, and discover positive new perspectives, solutions and responses to the challenges of life.
The application of mindfulness-based interventions is supported by a growing empirical evidence base that is validating their benefits.
How does mindfulness work?
The fundamental building blocks of mindfulness are intention, attention and attitude. In the learning process these internal behaviours are engaged to attend to the mind and body, as it presents itself in the here and now, without habitual judgments and interpretations. This produces a shift in perspective called reperceiving. Through it we gain an increased capacity for objectivity about our own internal experience, which increases self-regulation and self-management, creativity and cognitive, emotional and behavioural flexibility.