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Mindfulness is a mental state where we are consciously aware of the present moment, while being conscious of our thoughts, feelings and wider environment. The practice of mindfulness derives from meditation, which in turn has roots in the ancient Buddhist discipline of reflective contemplation. It is essentially about cultivating an awareness of the world around you, without excluding anything. Mindfulness emphasises sensual experience over analytical thinking.
Meditation is one of the key techniques for teaching mindfulness, but there are other skills that can enhance the correct approach. These include:
A mindfulness practitioner will encourage you to reflect on unhelpful or negative thoughts and emotions. You may also be encouraged to meditate. Mindfulness can then be practised anywhere – you do not need to be in a quiet environment.
There are a number of benefits to being more mindful, including:
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