What is mindfulness? NO, it’s not yoga and meditation.
Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment.
Mindfulness is being aware.
Mindfulness is not reacting.
Being mindful is being intentional with your actions and words.
You don’t need to do yoga or meditation to be mindful but yoga and meditation can help you practice being mindful.
Mindfulness is the awareness of thoughts. Paying attention and acknowledging the negative thoughts and feelings, and instead of reacting, you understand it instead.
“If you can change your mind, you can change your life.”
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another”.
“You cannot control your first thought, but you can control your second thought”.
- William James
To focus on what is happening in the here and now or what is in front of us is mindfulness.
So when there is a stressor i.e. an event, a person, or something that is causing us to feel a certain way, we need to acknowledge it and name it or call out the feeling that is coming up. Is it anger, fear, disgust, sadness, or joy (ACKNOWLEDGE IT).
Then feel it — don’t run away from it, feel it.
Then understand why you are feeling that way. Asking why is this event or people triggering me.
Here is an example of a grounding technique you can use when you are feeling triggered or stressed by events or people.
- Pause — don’t react. Breathe instead.
- Acknowledge the feeling — name the emotion (anger, fear, sadness, disgust, etc.)
- Learn WHY — try to understand why (you feel triggered, reminds you of the past, what are you trying to protect yourself from)
- Mindful Action — healthy coping tools (cognitive change, walk, grounding exercises, breathing exercises, self-care, etc)
PALM (acronym) — you can even rub your palms together to help you practice pausing and being mindful and become less reactive.