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Moving From Mindless to Mindful

–By Melissa Kurkoske

There I am, driving down the road, tired and groggy, with way too much on my mind. I am on my way to work thinking about my hunger, my plans for that evening, my stress about school—anything but the road in front of me. As I race toward my destination, I realize with a start that I have completely passed my freeway exit.

distraction.jpg

Has this happened to you? This form of mindlessness is referred to as “auto-pilot.” Many of us probably spend a great deal of time on auto-pilot, which leads to us missing a great deal of what is going on internally and externally. Luckily for us, there is a skill called mindfulness that can be practiced and acquired to improve our moment to moment experience.

Mindfulness is a term that has gained some popularity over the last few years. According to Jon Kabat-Zin, author of Wherever You Go, There You Are, mindfulness is “paying attention to something, in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally”.

Research shows that mindfulness can lead to improvements in well-being, stress, health, relationship satisfaction. Whether you have a limited or firm understanding of mindfulness, this short video posted below can serve as an informative video on the concept of mindfulness, or a gentle reminder to practice and hone your skills. The video emphasizes that mindfulness is, in fact, an achievable state of consciousness, and that your mindfulness practice will be unique to you, and only you.

Let us know your thoughts on mindfulness, including how you intend to incorporate some mindfulness into your everyday life by commenting below!

Cover photo by Moyann Brenn/flickr

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