What does it mean to be Mindful?

What does it mean to be Mindful vs Mind Full?

Mindful is described as “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally” (Kabat-Zinn)

One person describes their experience of being “mind full” as the following,

“Sometimes, my mind feels like an enormous noisy hall filled with thousands of busy bouncing balls.  Urgent tasks lurk inside each ball, and I ‘m worried about which ones need my attention first.

As I try to figure out which ball to grab first, parachutes descent upon me.  They’re packed with shameful memories of things I wish I’d done differently.  Surrounding me are angry friends, family members, and teachers, wagging fingers at me, criticizing me for not moving faster and more successfully in life.” (Other Wise – A DBT Access Group)

How many of us can relate to this description of being mind full?

What happens when our minds are full?  What symptoms or behaviours occur?  How does this impact our routine and relationships?

When we are “mind full” we are more likely to react in the following ways,

Unhelpful, Automatic, Habitual

The good news is that there are simple ways to become mindful and short exercises done daily can change mind full to mindful by “bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis” (Marlatt & Kristeller)

When we practice mindfulness we are more likely to be,

Composed, Engaged, Accepting

There are many good mindfulness exercises available on the internet and through Apps, start with a short one and try to do an exercise daily.