Mindfulness Day, which was designated to be September 12 by Wisdom Publications, is a way to promote our awareness in this complex and unpredictable world.
Mindfulness is a certain mental state and a therapeutic technique which is deeply rooted in the ancient times. Our conscious attention is focused on the present moment and perceives the world without any judgement. This calm awareness of our body, feelings and mind is the path to self-realization .
Sometimes words “mindfulness” and “meditation” are used interchangeably, but there is a slight difference between the two. Meditation might be interpreted as a practice, while mindfulness (being an aspect of meditation) as a quality. Meditation might be interpreted as a method through which we learn to live mindfully, while mindfulness can be used in treatment that does not include meditation . Mindfulness can be practiced both informally and formally and can be applied to any situation, while meditation is usually practiced for a specific amount of time and is commonly referred to as formal practice .
Both mindfulness and meditation rely on the ability to be focused on the present moment, “here and now”. Z. Segal and M. Williams combined cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness-based stress reduction program elaborated by J. Kabat-Zinn that led to the development of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.
The practice of mindfulness is really important in times of uncertainty, anxiety, fear, when we try to cope with our stresses and maintain mental wellbeing . Mindfulness-based approaches are useful tools to deal with contemporary challenges that help us to accept our painful experiences without judgement until we are ready to let them go and to open ourselves to new experiential and behavioral possibilities . During this extremely uncertain time when we have no idea what will happen, when we feel we are falling apart, it is very important to learn how to tolerate this frightening uncertainty, and “practicing mindfulness helps bring us back to the present, and away from the brink” .
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Author: Tetiana Danylova, ORCID: 0000-0002-0297-9473