Understanding Mindfulness Skills and Techniques

March 15, 2019

Mindfulness is the practice of paying focussed attention to your internal and external experience in the present moment with curiosity, flexibility, openness and acceptance.

As a lifestyle, mindfulness is the process of immersing yourself totally in the experience of the present moment whether this is exercising, walking, cooking, eating, or having a conversation with another, rather than carrying out an activity “mindlessly” whilst your mind is preoccupied with thoughts or worries about the past or the future.

Your focus of attention can be on external stimuli like things you hear or see in the external environment, or on internal stimuli including thoughts, memories, emotions and bodily sensations. There is an emphasis on noticing and observing these stimuli in a non-judgmental manner – not judging an experience as good or bad, desirable or undesirable but just noticing “as it is”.

The formal practice of mindfulness can take anywhere from 5-20 minutes and involves intentionally focussing attention on the breath or sensations in the whole body, on mental images like “leaves on a stream” or on external stimuli like sounds or external objects.

Mindfulness practice assists you with learning to defuse from and releasing unhelpful thoughts, beliefs, memories and other cognitions and learning to accept and make room for painful feelings, urges and sensations and allowing them to come and go without a struggle.