What Are The Three Components Of Mindfulness?
The essence of mindfulness is summarized in a quote from Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD:
An awareness arising from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, without judgement.
Within that concept, there are three components of mindfulness:
- Intention - choosing to cultivate your awareness.
- Attention - to the present moment, sensations, and thoughts.
- Attitude - being kind, curious, and non-judgmental.
When these three characteristics of mindful behavior intertwine, how we relate and respond to events is transformed, creating a more spacious way of being that is gentler and more peaceful.
Let’s think about how mindfulness and meditation link, and explore how these practices build upon the three pillars to create meaningful lifestyle changes.
The Three Aspects Of Cultivating A Mindful Life
Each of the three mindfulness elements helps us to move out of autopilot and take ownership of our thoughts.
That control allows us to reflect, observe, make informed decisions, and respond as we wish, rather than lashing out reactively.
Mindfulness means paying attention to your experiences and choosing peaceful reactions to people, thoughts, emotions, and events.
Those mindful characteristics usually come in phases, flowing as a person explores new ways to adjust their behaviors.
- Intention is the first step to mindfulness. It’s achieved by setting an intention to be in the present.
- Once an intention is established, we place attention on our breath and body, harnessing the intent to evaluate how we feel.
- Distractions and detours, such as being lost in a sensation, can pull you from a mindful experience. Attitude dictates how we respond to those detours.
A non-judgmental, accepting attitude allows us to emerge from distractions and reconnect with the intention to be mindful.
The Difference Between Meditation And Mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness are intrinsically linked as methods that bring lasting peace with regular practice.
Meditation is mindful by nature, although it expands beyond basic mindfulness in that it allows us to explore beyond the limitations of our minds.
Furthermore, mindfulness doesn’t have to be meditative and won’t always mean achieving a deep state of focused awareness.
But does meditation make you smarter and more present, or is mindful behavior enough?
The answer is that mindfulness is a committed effort to bring yourself into the present - but meditation has the power to surpass mental processes.
Therefore, if your goal is to enhance your brain functionality and break away from harmful thought patterns, meditation may be the next beneficial step on your mindfulness journey.
Flexing A Mindfulness Practice To Fit Your Lifestyle
The key to regular, valuable mindful meditation sessions is to ensure it is compatible with your commitments, goals, and aspirations.
Our free online meditation group is an excellent example of how innovative digital connections facilitate powerful meditation practices at your convenience.
When should you meditate to enhance your experience? Personal preference leads, but as a few pointers, consider these ideas:
- Hours before sunrise are often the quietest times of day to meditate.
- You should aim for a time when you are least likely to be disturbed.
- Daily practice of 15-30 minutes is optimal to build a routine.
Any mindfulness discipline requires focus to be effective, so it’s essential to make space for meditation, especially if you’re experiencing increased stress or find yourself making rash decisions.
Setting aside a daily meditation session, and prioritizing this time, is crucial if you require a mental or emotional reset.
Likewise, if you need to reset your intentions and attention to focus on being more mindful, meditation is an effective solution to help you reconnect and refresh your headspace.
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