What Exactly Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the ability to pay attention to our present experience, without judgment or criticism, but with open curiosity and kindness. 

– By The Mindful Company Team

At Blue Sky Escapes, mindfulness is something we strive to practice every day. It was something that inspired our founder, Krystal on her travel escapes when she was working as an M&A lawyer; and later informed the travel philosophy that she set out for the company — one that encourages self-discovery and pushes you out of your comfort zone. For a broader look at this psychological process, we turn over the spotlight to our friends at The Mindful Company. 

Clasping your fingers together and relaxing your hands is commonly known as a "Venus Lock", which enhances the ability to focus in a meditative posture

 

You may have seen the word “mindfulness” a lot recently, and thought: “What exactly is mindfulness?”
“Mindful” means “inclined to be aware”.
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary
To be mindful is simply to be aware.
When someone says “be mindful of that step,” we interpret it as “be aware of that step” so we don’t trip over it.

 

Let’s take this definition one step further. So, what are we being aware of? Mindfulness involves being aware of our present experience at any given moment. Our present experience consists of our:

  • Thoughts — what are we thinking?
  • Emotions — what are we feeling?
  • Physical sensations — what is our body telling us?
  • Surrounding environment — what do we see, hear, feel and touch?

When paying attention to these thoughts, emotions and actions, we do so without judgment — accepting them exactly as they are. This means observing our present experience like an objective third party — without any biases or labelling any experience as “right” or “wrong”. To know more, take a look at Mindful Approach.

What’s the benefit of practicing awareness, of being present? 

Firstly, by paying attention to our surroundings, we learn to notice and better appreciate each moment. Even the mundane, routine ones, such as commuting to work or brushing our teeth. Secondly, it helps prevent us from reacting immediately to our thoughts, emotions and actions and getting carried away by them. This gives us freedom to choose how we respond to each situation and stops us from doing something we may regret, or dwelling on thoughts and situations that we cannot control or change.

Photo credit: WanderLuxe

As Viktor Frankl reminds us: 

Between stimulus and response, there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” 

Let’s Escape