What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness has been defined as the cultivation of one’s state of mind in which one becomes aware of their experience in the present moment in a non-judgmental way.
According to research on Mindfulness, there are four distinct mindfulness skills that can be taught and learned.
Mindful observation is the cultivation of awareness to internal and external phenomena (e.g., thoughts, emotions, sounds, smells and other sensations).
To fully engage in a current activity with undivided attention and awareness
To be non-evaluative about ones experiences in the present moment through acceptance and non-judgment.
Mindful description or experiential expression is the immediate, non-judgmental labeling of observations, without conceptual analysis.
Mindfulness and relationships
Both in traditional Buddhism and in Western psychology, Mindfulness has been associated with interpersonal development; Mindful individuals (those who meditate) are more capable of installing and maintaining satisfying relationships. This can be partially attributed to the fact that observing students after meditation training have demonstrated increased levels of engagement in empathic and empathic ability.
Social anxiety and performance
Mindfulness enables one to observe rather than to react to distressing thoughts and emotions. Since Mindfulness is now applied in the treatment of various anxiety disorders, such as stress management, panic attacks, have demonstrated that mindfulness training can increase performance in social situations and reduce social anxiety.
Self-esteem is a positive predictor of social acceptance, and therefore controls affect and behaviour in social interactions. Mindfulness has been shown to contribute to one’s self esteem through promoting authenticity as opposed to social comparison and acceptance instead of evaluation.
Finally, with mindfulness one develops a positive association of body satisfaction, observation and action, as well as cultivating an attitude of non-judgmental acceptance.
Mindfulness (by Dav Panesar)