By Julie Cox, M.D

We heard and read it a million times. But what is it? Is it being painfully slow? Are we going to be less productive? Does it mean changing our religion?

The correct answer: None of the above.

Mindfulness is a natural state: Humans have it, animals have it, plants have it.

Have you ever watched a baby at play or your pet at play? Their focus is 100%, 100% of the time. This uninterrupted focus, this being “in the zone” is being mindful.

In mindfulness all senses are involved and geared toward one single thing. So, what “one single thing” could you start with? Well, the easiest thing would be to focus on your breath.

As you breathe in, use every sense to figure out what breathing in feels like. Same holds true with the out-breath. When you do this a few times, you will be noticing a few things: the speed of breathing in and out, the depth of your breath and how many body parts are involved.
Afterwards you also notice that you noticed nothing else but your breathing. Wow, that is being mindful.

Can we use this technique in other areas of our living and doing? In all areas of our living and doing?

Sure, the more you practice, the more mindful you become. The quality of everything you do is affected. Even your work-outs.

Mindfulness does not necessarily mean that “less is more”. But it sure means that you do not need to do more to get more.

When you bring mindfulness into your life, observe:

how much more careful you are and therefore less accident prone, how much your stress levels drop, how much your enjoyment of life increases, that you need less time to do a task, how much kinder/more patient/more generous you become. Are these qualities you want? If so, let me ask you again: Do you mind?