People frequently ask us to define ‘mindfulness’. Because we are always quick to explain the concept and what are the characteristics of being mindful, that answer will usually satisfy a person’s curiosity. What our answer to that question fails to clarify is, maybe, even more important! Because we spend a lot of time on the subject, we think it’s equally important to make clear exactly what being mindful does not mean! Hence, we will attempt to better define mindfulness by, hopefully, clearing up any misconceptions, as well.
Without being too explanatory, here are some perceptions we want to correct. The following list of seven items associated with being mindful are false! We will clarify the why after each falsehood.
What Mindfulness Is Not
- Emptying your mind: Mindfulness does not involve clearing your mind of all thoughts. It’s about being aware of your thoughts and sensations in the present moment, without judgment.
- A religion: Mindfulness is not a religion. It’s a practice that can be integrated into any belief system or spiritual practice.
- A quick fix: Mindfulness is not a quick fix or a cure-all. It requires regular practice and patience to experience its benefits.
- Suppressing emotions: Mindfulness is not about suppressing or denying emotions. Instead, it involves acknowledging and accepting them without judgment.
- Escaping reality: Mindfulness is not about escaping reality or avoiding difficult situations. It’s about facing them with openness and awareness.
- Only for meditation: Mindfulness is not limited to meditation. It can be practiced in any activity, such as walking, eating, or even washing the dishes.
- A one-size-fits-all solution: Mindfulness is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s a personal practice that requires finding what works best for you.
The beautiful thing about mindfulness is that it can be practiced anywhere! As each of us are different, our personal needs where being mindful becomes necessary within a certain part of the day are unique, as well. Strive for a balance in all things you value and hold in esteem!