Mindfulness is a concept that many people have heard of and associate it with meditation and relaxation. My approach to mindfulness does include these two activities but is more of a philosophy. Mindfulness requires a person to live in the moment, even when that moment is painful. By nonjudgmentally accepting the present it may be possible to make changes so that the future is better.
Mindfulness is being aware of the present and living it. It is being curious about every day activities – tasting and experiencing food as if it were the first time. Walking and feeling what the ground under you feet feels like. Focusing on the moment helps to keep our thoughts away from the anxiety-filled future that might be feared. It helps, even for a limited time, to move our thoughts out of the past where we might have experienced trauma or pain.
For young people, the present can be wonderful but also filled with challenge. Social media can lead to online addictions and bullying. A teen with ADHD may be struggling to keep up in school and make friends. Mindfulness helps accept the present in its true form so that a better future can be created. It helps teach the control of anxiety and depression by using breathing and our senses to ground us. It can provide ways to live in the present and find gifts that may be hidden and just out of sight.