The practice of mindfulness helps us “be where we are.” Anchoring the attention in present moment reality, acknowledging whatever we are experiencing and letting it be, helps us to let go of reliving stressful memories from the past and imagining stressful situations that may or may not become a reality in the future. Mindfulness is the skill of “being where you are.”
Sylvia Boorstein defines mindfulness as “the aware, balanced acceptance of present experience . . . opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it”. The body with its sensory experience is an excellent anchor for present moment awareness because it cannot exist in the past or in the future. Thus, whenever we come back to the body, we come back to the present in which there is probably no problem.
–Adapted from Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life by Steven Hayes, PhD
Create moments of stillness in the midst of activity. Stopped at a traffic light? Waiting in line? Riding the bus?
Value these times as an opportunity to close your eyes and go within or say a little prayer. “Wherever you go, in the midst of movement and activity, carry your stillness within you.” — Deepak Chopra
Expand the field of your awareness around your breathing, so that it includes a sense of the body as a whole, your posture, and facial expression. Follow the breath now as if your whole body is breathing – holding it all in this slightly softer, more spacious awareness. Let go of the need to do anything about what you are experiencing and just allow yourself to be.
—from Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy, Segal, Williams, and Teasdale