Practicing Mindfulness


One of the most powerful ways to be present is the practice of mindfulness, which is paying attention to your moment by moment experience in a non-judgmental way. There are two important components of mindfulness. The first is conscious attention to your immediate experience including what is going on in your mind, body and surroundings. The second is paying attention in an open, curious and nonjudgmental way.

Mindfulness means that you quiet your mind and become more aware; you notice how your emotions, thoughts and behavior fluctuate from moment to moment. For example, you’re driving down the highway thinking about your boss; a song pops into your head, followed by a memory of childhood. Soon you’re thinking about your own children and then remember the clutter in a child’s room which you need to discuss tonight. You feel irritated that kids don’t listen or appreciate all you do for them. You’re feeling a little discouraged when suddenly another driver cuts in front of you. Now you’re angry and can’t stop thinking about all of the lousy drivers on the streets these days.

Mindfulness means that you are not only caught up in these thoughts, but you are aware that you are caught up in them. You observe your various reactions and pay attention to what arises in you from moment to moment. The idea is to observe with compassion and non judgment, whether what you find is pleasant or unpleasant. You don’t try to change it. You don’t criticize it. You simply allow it and pay attention to it.

Although Mindfulness is an ancient practice, it has been well-used since the 1970s as a form of psychological treatment. The practice is being used, with positive outcomes, in the treatment of pain, anxiety, depression, addictions, eating disorders, etc.

Benefits of Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness takes a real commitment. However, it will also produce some powerful benefits.

  • Your awareness of your experience increases and you’ll be able to be present, live more fully in the here and now.
  • You’ll begin to detach from your experience. You’ll realize that you are not your problems or frustrations so are less caught up in suffering from them.
  • You’ll begin to learn from deeper feelings and programming that you’ve defended yourself against most of your life. Old, habitual patterns gradually begin to fall away.
  • You’ll stop fighting and resisting your experience. Life will become more effortless.
  • You’ll relax, find greater peace of mind, love, and make contact with your higher, spiritual self.

My challenge to you this week is to practice mindfulness. Make a commitment to pay attention to your moment by moment experience. Don’t resist it. Just notice. And, as you practice allowing and noticing, you’ll find that you become much more calm, much more able to make deliberate choices and respond to situations rather than emotionally react.


About Roger K. Allen
Roger K. Allen, Ph.D. is an expert in personal transformation and family development. His tools and methods have helped tens of thousands of people live happier and more effective lives. To learn more, visit www.rogerkallen.com>.

4 responses to “Practicing Mindfulness”

  1. Fred Zirkle says:

    Mindfulness… very interesting. Never heard of it. Will read up. Thanks, Fred

    • Roger Allen says:

      Hi Fred. Practicing mindfulness has been a very powerful concept for me. It helps me be aware of my experience, make better choices and enjoy my everyday experiences.

  2. Harold says:

    What do you mean when you say “You’ve defended yourself against most of your life”?

    • Roger Allen says:

      Harold, another way of saying this is programming or feelings that you’ve ignored or tried to run from most of your life.

      Roger

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