What is Mindfulness?

The practice is simple but the definition is different depending on who you ask. My definition is remembering to stay present and bring awareness to the mental, emotional, spiritual, and psychical life aspects in order to change the way you think or feel about your experiences.

Mindfullness is not special, mythical, or belonging to any one religion or social class. Everyone from young to old can practice this free technique. Mindfulness is not always easy, particularly if you have never experience anything like it before.

Devoting 10 minutes a day to mindfulness can be challenging and rewarding. There are somedays where this practice is truly eye opening or relaxing and other days where I’m discouraged because I cannot shut off my mind or my body wanted to move. I could not help but wonder am I doing this mindful practice right? All the meditation I have seen is quite and still?

I then wondered what would happen if I stopped questioning the practice and let things unfold in the moment? I learned with practice that resistance to what your mind or body is telling you in the moment will just make the process less enjoyable. When we give into the process of letting our bodies move when they want to move and minds think when they want to think we are listening our wants and need in the moment rather then forcing the mind and body to do something else.

Rather than walk away from the experience or shut it down, approach it one step at a time with curiosity and acceptance. Each person’s mindfulness practice will be unique to them. If we are paying attention our wants and needs in the moment and honoring the process it takes to get us there then it is a mindful practice.

How Would I Start?

I tell my clients one step at a time when talking about change and growth in their process. I would recommend starting with focusing on the breath for 10 minutes a day as it is always available when we need it and will provide a wonderful anchor to focus on.

Commit to regular practice so that it develops a habit is key to gaining the most potential benefits from the practice. Once, you feel you have a firm grounding in the practice feel free to mix up your practice by walking in nature, focusing on mindfully moving, and body scanning ( awareness of what is happening in your body).


Melissa Stoker, MS, LPC-Intern

Supervisor: Sascha Webb, MAMFC, LPC-S, NCC
The Well Counseling Center
Play therapy, Individual, and Family therapy
Colleyville, TX