Everyday both adults and children need to handle multiple tasks and relationships. We are often too busy. The challenges we face may sometimes lead us to react in non-beneficial ways. We may become tired, frustrated or irritated and fail to be kind and compassionate to ourselves and others. We become angry too quickly, or fail to smile to the people we care about. We don’t do it on purpose, we don’t even choose to do it, but life is simply too stressful.
Mindfulness: what is it?
We are living in hectic times – but we can make a choice to care for ourselves, to enhance our well-being and resiliency in order to be more peaceful and effective in our daily lives. Mindfulness is one of the most efficacious evidence-based solutions to address stress: it is the capacity to be attentive to the present moment experience with friendliness.
The first component pertains to the ability to discern and identify clearly what is happening in each moment. One learns to regulate attention by sustaining one’s observation of physical sensations, emotions and thoughts and intentionally reduce, for instance, unhelpful thinking habits such as rumination.
The second component of Mindfulness involves maintaining an attitude of friendliness. Rather than judging, ignoring, or minimizing our sensations, thoughts and emotions, Mindfulness brings openness, nonreactivity and nonjudgment to these experiences.
“Happiness is a choice,
not an automatic response.
You cannot choose what happens,
but with Mindfulness you can
choose how to respond.”
Adapted from Mildred V. Barthel