An introduction to mindfulness
“the secret of health for the mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
Wellbeing is the combination of feeling good and functioning effectively. This includes the experience of negative emotions and managing them successfully.
Wellbeing as five components:
- Positive emotions
The role of Mindfulness in enhancing well-being as it increases positive emotions.
Mindfulness is a translation of the Indian word, Sati, which means awareness, attention and remembering.
Mindfulness is non-evaluative and sustained moment-to-moment awareness of thoughts, physical sensations, and affective states.
It is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally to things as they are. This means paying attention to things are they really are in any given moment not what we want them to be.
You can break down the meaning of mindfulness as follows:
- Paying attention: To be mindful, you need to pay attention, whatever you choose to attend to.
- Present Moment: The reality of being in the here and now means you just need to be aware of the way things are as they are now. Your experience is valid and correct just as it is.
Normally, when you experience something you automatically react to that experience according to your past conditioning.
Example: if you think, “I still haven’t finished my work”, you react with thoughts, word and actions in some shape or form.
Mindfulness encourages you to respond to your experience rather than react to thoughts. A reaction is automatic and gives you no choice; a response is a deliberate and considered action.
Non-judgementally: The temptation is to judge experience as good or bad or like/dislike. I want to feel bliss; I don’t like to feel afraid. Letting go of judgements help you to see things as they are rather than through the filter of personal judgements based on previous conditioning (experiences).
Openheartedly: To be openhearted is to bring a kindness, compassion, warmth, and friendliness to your experience.
© University of East Anglia