What is Mindfulness? Definition + Benefits (Incl. Psychology)

What is Mindfulness? Definition + Benefits (Incl. Psychology)

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of purposefully bringing awareness to the present moment without judgment. It involves tuning into your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment with openness and curiosity.

A Definition of Mindfulness

Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, defines mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” So mindfulness is not just awareness, but a special kind of awareness.

The Attitude of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is guided by an attitude of:

  • Non-judging – Observing thoughts and feelings without evaluating them as good or bad
  • Patience – Letting things unfold in their time without hurry
  • Beginner’s mind – Seeing everything as if for the first time, with curiosity
  • Trust – Developing a trust in yourself and your feelings
  • Non-striving – Paying attention without expectation or goal
  • Acceptance – Seeing things as they are without trying to change them
  • Letting go – Not holding on to thoughts, emotions or experiences

The Benefits

Research shows mindfulness practice has extensive benefits including reduced stress, enhanced focus and concentration, decreased emotional reactivity, and improved relationships.


What is mindfulness in psychology?

In psychology, mindfulness refers to intentionally bringing awareness to the present moment with openness, curiosity and without judgment. Practicing mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress, improve emotional regulation, and enhance relationships.

How do you practice mindfulness?

You can practice mindfulness through mindful breathing, body scans, mindful eating, noticing sensory experiences, observing your thoughts and emotions, meditation, yoga, walking meditations, or just by bringing more awareness to everyday activities.

What are 5 benefits of mindfulness?

  1. Reduced stress
  2. Enhanced focus
  3. Decreased emotional reactivity
  4. Improved cognitive flexibility
  5. Better relationships

How do I teach mindfulness?

To teach basic mindfulness, guide students to focus on breathing, scan their body for sensations, engage the five senses fully when eating, and bring awareness to thoughts without judgment. Teach beginners to start with just 5-10 minutes per day.

Why is mindfulness important?

Mindfulness is important because it can dramatically enhance well-being. It reduces stress, anxiety, emotional reactivity, and burnout while improving life satisfaction, relationships, creativity, and performance. It also supports better health through stress reduction and self care.