“Mindfulness” is the ability to be fully present and aware of where you are and you’re doing and to not be overwhelmed or over react to situations and emotions. Some people think it is a technique for quieting the mind, but it isn’t. It’s a training used to bring you fully into the present situation. To a great extent it is being more aware of the signals your body is sending you and processing those signals differently rather than merely reacting in a set pattern developed earlier in life. Ostensibly, we all have some level of mindfulness naturally. However, over years of developed patterns of reaction we begin to less mindful and more reactive which may actually mean we’ve created a pattern of negative reactions, or overreactions, to situations.
However, when you train your brain to be more mindful you begin to reshape your reactions and emotions and reshaping the actual physical structure of your brain. In fact, research has shown that when we practice mindfulness in our everyday lives it lights up areas of the brain that aren’t normally activity otherwise. We become more present and aware and can redirect emotions and react differently than we might have. You don’t need any special skills of knowledge to develop your mindfulness technique. It’s really all about self-awareness and anyone can learn this skill. You can practice it anytime and anywhere.
The essence of mindfulness is being completely aware of the present situation without imposing judgement. Simply to see what is happening with reacting. This may be a tall order to begin with. But with training and practice it gets easier and easier. As you’re being mindful in any given situation you will probably feel emotions crop up and judgements. With training you learn to make note of these but not act on them. What typically happens to people in any given situation is their minds begin to run away with their thoughts. Mindfulness training helps you stop this by returning to the present situation again and again as you dispel these emotions and thoughts and doing so without judging yourself, which is a critical component of the therapy. One of the best parts of mindfulness therapy and training is that once you’ve learned it you continue to use it throughout your life, well after you leave Lanna you will still draw on this tool to create a better, more positive, more productive life for yourself.