'Mindfulness' is a word we hear a lot these days, but what exactly does it mean? Find out what it is, what the benefits of mindfulness are and how you can start to practise it.

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Have you ever driven somewhere and realised when you arrived that you couldn’t really remember anything about the journey? Or have you ever eaten a whole packet of biscuits when you were planning to only have one? Or have you stayed up much later than you planned, or even all night, watching ‘just one more’ episode of a TV series? All of these are examples of mindlessness. When we live this way, we are not fully awake and not fully living our lives.

What exactly is mindfulness?

When we are mindful, we are more conscious of our thoughts, our actions and what is happening around us. We might notice a beautiful sunset or really listen carefully to what a friend is saying, rather than planning what we’re going to say next. We are also more aware of our own feelings and our thoughts. Jon Kabat Zinn, who has done a lot to make mindfulness popular, says mindfulness is: ‘Paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and without judging.’

So we are consciously deciding what to pay attention to, we are not worrying about the past or planning for the future and we are not trying to control or stop our thoughts or feelings – we’re just noticing them.

Why is mindfulness so popular now?

For most people life is getting busier and busier. Technology means that we always have something to do and there isn’t much opportunity to just ‘be’. People are often doing two or three things at the same time: texting while watching TV, or even looking at their phone while walking along the pavement. People are working longer hours and bringing work home. All this can make us stressed, and mindfulness can be a way of reducing this stress.

What are the benefits of mindfulness?

Research shows that mindfulness reduces stress and depression. It can help you to concentrate, have a better memory and to think more clearly. It can also help people to manage pain better and to improve their sleep, and it can even help you lose weight because you won’t eat that whole packet of biscuits without thinking!

How to become more mindful

Mindfulness Day is celebrated on 12 September, so maybe that would be a good day to try a few mindfulness techniques and see if they make a difference. But, of course, you can try these on any day of the year.

A very simple technique that you could try right now is to close your eyes for a couple of minutes and count how many sounds you can hear. This will help to focus you on what is happening right now.

Another technique is to focus on a piece of food, typically a raisin. Instead of eating it without thinking, slow down. Look carefully at it and notice how it feels in your fingers. Smell it. Then put it on your tongue and taste it. Only then start to eat it slowly, noticing how it feels and how it tastes.

Both of these techniques force you to slow down and focus on the present moment, and there are plenty of other ideas you can find online if you want to try mindfulness for yourself. 

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Submitted by Dede Fajar Handoyo on Sun, 08/10/2023 - 08:20


I think I have been being mindfulness with another technique not consciously. Mindfulness helps us to keep calm heading every situation.

Submitted by nouraa99 on Tue, 12/09/2023 - 00:19


Thinking of it right now makes want to try it out, i havent tried any mindfulness techniques yet, but im planning to do so.
i think living in an evolutionary world which things happen in a blink of eye would worth trying it and give it a chance to make us grateful for what we have and at the same time enjoying our moments alone or with our loved ones.

Submitted by bookworm250 on Sun, 10/09/2023 - 12:09


I sometimes try to practice mindfulness in my everyday live activities but unfortunately I am not fully focus on what I am doing due to some external distractions. however, I will continue practicing it until i become fully mindfulness.

Submitted by Camila Felix on Fri, 14/04/2023 - 18:17


When I travel, I usually like to see the landscape and to take pictures to keep for myself, I always like to look at it later as a memory. This helps a lot for time to pass quickly and to not get bored.

Submitted by Ali_alsaghier on Mon, 05/12/2022 - 22:01


In the beginning, I did not know anything about mindfulness. I noticed some people practicing meditation. I know that meditation is mindfulness exercise to reduce stress and depression levels and sleeping well.
in the other hand, yoga is also an exercise of mindfulness, it make you happy and increase your consantration.

Submitted by jyoti Chaudhary on Sat, 14/05/2022 - 12:53


Have you tried any mindfulness techniques? What was your experience?

mindfulness is good for our body. it improves your mood and releases your stress, and depression and it increases your focus in your work. but I don't do mindfulness because I do exercise daily in the morning and it helps me to relax and fit.

Submitted by sithutun on Tue, 07/12/2021 - 15:01


Meditation is one of the best techniques that you can try to be mindful. Closing your eyes, focusing on the breath you take in and out for about 10 minutes. When you try to do this everyday, you'll find out that you are in a really peaceful and mindful condition than ever before.

Submitted by Esma on Thu, 30/09/2021 - 19:29


I have anxiety problem, so i tried to be calm and stop thinking about the past and futur, one of the best techniques i tried is meditation, it's really make me mindful

Submitted by PARIMALA MADIAZHAKAN on Wed, 04/08/2021 - 05:43

Yeah, just now I try the mindfulness technique. I'm closing my eyes and hear sounds around me. It can help me to be the focus on my surroundings.
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Submitted by Bignon on Mon, 21/06/2021 - 16:52

I have never tried mindfulness technique and I've never heard about it before. But I try to use on of them to be more calmer. Work can be so fast-paced that you are tempted to do things without really thinking about them, automatically. More or must be aware of mindlessly threat and do something about it.