You sit there pondering the meaning of life and may start to wonder, what is this mindfulness stuff all about anyway? I’m so glad you asked.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, a mindfulness guru dude, has defined mindfulness as, “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally.” (1)
Okay, but why? You wonder.
We all have emotions, feelings, traumas and things that trigger us. We are human, and the human condition is about feeling. But, this can become problematic when we allow the feelings to drive the bus, so to speak. When we allow our big emotions to be the primary driver of our behavior, we can get into trouble by reacting impulsively, instead of responding thoughtfully and intentionally.
Mindfulness helps us respond thoughtfully and intentionally. When we are aware of our emotions, we have a choice on how to behave. When we are allowing our emotions to drive our behavior, we act impulsively and emotionally vomit on those around us.
One way to start being more mindful is to track your body sensations. When you notice that you are triggered and becoming emotional, take a breath. Ground yourself in the present moment. When you are in the present moment, you have a choice.
More on grounding next time…