Mindfulness is a way of moving through the world while being aware of your surroundings and emotions. It can be contrasted to mindlessness, which is generally doing things without thought or “on autopilot.” It is also, more broadly, a way that people can choose to live their life in a more connected, thoughtful way. Mindfulness promotes noticing connections and similarities, paying attention to change, and analyzing our own thoughts and emotions without judging them. This helps create context for events, broaden our perspectives, and better understand others.
Mindfulness has become very popular in the United States in the last decade. Their are apps and groups that promote mindfulness meditation—a type of meditation in which people are encouraged to focus only on their present state—and the practice of yoga and other mindfulness-adjacent activities are on the rise. This has lead many people to turn to mindfulness as part of their healthcare or mental healthcare routine.
If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns, mindfulness-based interventions through a psychologist may help.