Mindfulfness – being mindful – is something which is being given more and more credence in psychotherapy circles, and has been proven to be a positive way of improving one’s mental health. It is defined as ‘the intentional, accepting and non-judgemental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment’. What we do and the way we think had a massive impact on our wellbeing and mental health, and so by being mindful, how we interpret these actions and thoughts, and most importantly by taking notice of them, we can escape the ruts in which we often find ourselves.
Mindfulness is considered to be the antidote to ‘tunnel vision’. When life gets stressful, times get tough or we are pre-occupied with work, it is very easy to lose sight of what is going on around us and within us, or allowing these external stresses to define how we interpret our internal emotions. Becoming more aware of the present moment, that is noticing the external stimuli we experience and the resulting internal emotions that occur from one moment to the next, we can improve our wellbeing. Mindfulness is also sometimes known as ‘present-centredness’ – the now is around what we should posit our focus, emotions and feelings, and mindfulness brings clarity of the now.
We asked our therapist Marianne Jospé about mindfulness and what was at the centre of mindfulness, she said ‘When life gets stressful, it is good to remind ourselves of some words Jon Kabat-Zinn wrote in “Coming to our Senses : The Richness of Now” – ‘There is no time other than now. We are not, contrary to what we think, “going” anywhere. It will never be richer in some other moment than in this one. Although we may imagine that some future moment will be more pleasant, or less, than this one, we can’t really know. But whatever the future brings, it will not be what you expect, or what you think, and when it comes it will be NOW too. It too will be a moment that can be very easily missed, just as easily missed as this one.’