The origins of mindfulness have deep roots in the meditative traditions of religious practices, notably Hinduism and Buddhism.

The Buddhist term translated into English as “mindfulness” comes from the Pali term sati and its Sanskrit counterpart smṛiti. The Sanskrit term smritistrongly connotes remembering, recalling, and bearing in mind values, viewpoints, and beliefs from the voluminous teachings of Buddhist dhammaand Hindu dharma — sacred scriptures, respectively.

Mindfulness is frequently likened to becoming acquainted with learning “non-doing,” which highlights the acceptance of oneself attentively at the now of the present moment, in whatever condition is at hand.

Another mindfulness system is “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy” (ACT), developed in the 1990s by Steven Hayes and colleagues. It aims to increase psychological flexibility using mindfulness approaches. This mental flexibility involves engaging with the present moment fully as a consciously aware person and changing your behaviors in the service of your chosen values. An underlying premise is that core distress results from avoidance and fear.

The acronym “FEAR” represents:

  • Fusion with your thoughts
  • Evaluation of experience
  • Avoidance of your experience
  • Reason-giving for your behavior

In this system, a healthier alternative is to adhere to the guidelines showed by the acronym “ACT”:

  • Accept your reactions and be present-focused
  • Choose a valued direction
  • Take action

Almost all mindfulness systems regard self-regulation as the overarching effect that mindfulness has on the mind and body. Self-regulation involves a gathering of disparate and split experiences toward a bio-mental unification. This sense of self-integrity reflects a mind that is clear, openly receptive, balanced, poised, steady, and fluidly mobile without a fixed bottom line (e.g., the need to reach a set conclusion) at any moment.

In everyday life, the benefits of mindfulness and overall self-regulation lead to more significant, mindful listening and more responsive, mindfully aware speaking. Mindfulness practices are lifelong endeavors and the wise might even say that the practice of mindfulness IS the very path we walk and define.

Peace and Love, Jim

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