What is Mindfulness

Article by Fiora Touliatou

Photo by Anna Tarazevich from Pexels

Mindfulness has become very popular in the West over the last decade. More and more people are getting interested to explore the topic and many corporates are now offering seminars for the wellbeing of their staff. For those who don’t know what it is, it may sound like a new age trend but the truth is quite the opposite.

Mindfulness is a way of being that everyone is capable of. More precisely, it is the practice of bringing our attention to the present moment, about reconnecting with ourselves and living to our full potential every day.

The difference between mindfulness and meditation

Although they complement and reflect each other, they are not the same. Their main differences are:

  • Mindfulness is about being aware of something, while meditation is about becoming aware of nothingness.
  • Mindfulness can be applied to any situation or activity throughout the day, while meditation is practiced for a specific amount of time.

What mindfulness is not

There are a few common misconceptions which can be misleading and confusing. Some of them are:

  • Mindfulness is not a religion, although it was originally founded on Buddhist and Hindu practices plus other ancient teachings. It is a practice that anyone from any religion or background can learn it. Actually, we all have it within us, therefore we just need the tools to unlock access to our inner capacities.
  • Mindfulness is not the same as positive thinking. It is rather being realistic and accepting everything, good, bad and neutral. However, it can help us think more positively by being more resilient and compassionate.
  • Mindfulness is not a miracle cure that will magically dissolve our problems. However, it is a tool to train our mind which can help us deal with our stress and problems. Moreover, it can help us become emotional resilient and calm during difficult times thus overcoming challenges with more ease.

In conclusion, mindfulness is for everyone regardless of culture, religion, age or status. Daily practice helps us be in harmony with our past and, on the same time, helps us accept the future with more optimism. The long-term aim of the practice is to change our perceptions, expand our awareness, increase our compassion and reprogram ourselves into a positive mindset so we can eliminate stress and be grateful and happy every single day.

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