Mindfulness, according to research, is a practical way of being in the world that reduces stress and improves wellbeing. But how do you do it? Watch this animation to see how this simple but powerful process works (even for a frog).
A New Way to Look at Mindfulness
As the animation shows, mindful awareness involves:
- Intention to practice mindfulness and return to your object of focus. (“I am going to sit here and pay attention to my breath; when I notice myself getting distracted, I will turn back to the breath.”)
- Attention to what is happening right now. (“I am breathing in; I am breathing out.”)
- Attitude that is non-judgmental, patient, and kind. (“I got distracted again! Well, that’s okay, I’ll just try again.”)
As they grow stronger, each component reinforces the others. Your intention to stay present will keep your attention focused, and your kind attitude toward the process will make your intention to stay present even stronger. With time, you might find this feedback loop growing so strong that you aren’t thrown into a state of stress by the scattered worries that flitter through your mind and can instead focus attention on what really matters.
Want to learn more? Keep exploring! If you’re new to the practice, you might want to read our mindfulness guide for beginners, as well as an article on the benefits of mindfulness to decide if this practice could be helpful for you. Those who already have a mindfulness practice might also be curious about the scholarly research on mindfulness and how mindfulness actually works in the brain and body. If you would like to watch another video, Jon Kabat-Zinn, one of the founders of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, helps clear up some misconceptions about mindfulness that can muddy the practice.