Mindfulness 101

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is not necessarily meditation, although there is a type of meditation called “mindfulness meditation.” For the purposes of this program, mindfulness is defined as non-judgmental awareness.” 

The first part of that definition–non-judgmental—entails creating an attitude of acceptance about circumstances, reactions, feelings, mental states, and relationships.

In order to lose weight, you must first learn to drop the judgment surrounding your weight.

Accept yourself where you are, as you are, and start from there.

Easier said than done, but we will learn that mindfulness is like a muscle. The more you work on it, the stronger it becomes. So don’t be discouraged if you find it difficult at first.

Next, you will need to develop awareness of your habits, emotions, and triggers. The first step toward changing a habit is awareness. We cultivate this awareness through the practice of mindfulness.

Over time, you will develop a “witness consciousness” whereby you observe yourself with kindness. You will begin to observe your own habits, taking note of patterns, thoughts, and behaviors. You will begin to observe your own “self-talk,” i.e. what you are telling yourself about your experience. And you will begin to observe the various areas of your life and how they fit together. This is mindfulness.

Mindfulness is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

Mindfulness is also like shining a light. The moment you shine the light of awareness on something, it is the beginning of change.

Many people start with a simple practice of being conscious of the breath for a few minutes every day—feeling the rise and fall and ebb and flow of breath. There are many ways to introduce mindfulness into your life. The most important thing is that it become a regular practice.

Check out this segment on 60 minutes about mindfulness.

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