Mindfulness is being in the state of “present awareness” or “being in the present moment.” The opposite is when one is not fully aware of what is happening around them and within them. Some people typically refer to this as being on “automatic pilot.”
The practice of mindfulness is not to avoid or to distract your mind away from thinking of stressful events or situations; it is to observe your thoughts and emotional reactions. Instead of being the critic and viewing them as right or wrong, just observe.
Start by finding a time and place that works best for you. Sit in an upright position and where there are few or no distractions. Close your eyes. Observe your thoughts. If you notice any distracting sounds, observe them and then let them go. The key is to not make your thinking “right” or “wrong.”
Mindfulness will help you learn to react to daily stress from a different perspective; as an observer. Note that mindfulness relaxation takes time and practice like learning other new skills. Some people may become frustrated by not experiencing immediate results. Try to be patient and practice. You will start feeling centered and find that you are able to handle stress more effectively.
“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” – Pema Chodron