Monday, April 30, 2012

How mindful are you?

Being mindful is usually interpreted as being aware or considerate to the needs of others1.

In terms of the study of mindfulness however, which has its roots both in Eastern contemplative and meditative practices and Western psychology, it is a little more expansive.  There are numerous definitions, but one frequently used is “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally” (Kabat-Zinn, 1994: 4)2.

Our ability to be mindful is both innate and developable.  When we cultivate mindfulness, it opens us up to new ways of being and doing.  Indeed research has demonstrated it to be effective in managing stress and for enhancing wellbeing, decision making and relationships3

If you are like the Energy company managers on last week’s programme and are keen to understand what it actually means at a tangible level and are interested to put some numbers to it, there are various evaluation measures.  Taking less than 5 minutes to complete, a tool like this one can help enhance your understanding of what mindfulness is in terms of behaviours and traits and help raise self awareness about one’s own experiences and patterns.


2. Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994) Wherever you go there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. New York: Hyperion.
3. Brown, K.W., Ryan, R.M., and Creswell, J.D. (2007a) “Mindfulness: Theoretical Foundations and Evidence for its Salutary Effects”, Psychological Inquiry, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 211-237.
 Image source:  seaskylab/

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