what is mindfulness


Definition of mindfulness

Before you start digging into the definition of mindfulness, take a DEEP BREATH…

What is the definition of mindfulness?

The definition of mindfulness is taken from Eastern religious traditions* and is defined in different ways according to technique, outcome, and process.

The definition of mindfulness can be stated as a “self-regulation of attention so that it is maintained on immediate experience, thereby allowing for increased recognition of mental events in the present moment”.

Also, as “a particular orientation toward one’s experiences in the present moment, an orientation that is characterized by curiosity, openness, and acceptance.”


As a “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally”


Also as a “the intentional process of observing, describing, and participating in reality nonjudgmentally, in the moment, and with effectiveness”


And as an “acceptance, defusion, present moment awareness, and the observer self”

definition of mindfulness

Let’s dive into the last definition of mindfulness

acceptance Acceptance is the allowance of thoughts and feelings to be themselves without trying to change them (content, frequency or form). Acceptance is an antidote to the avoidance of an undesired experience inside you.
defusion Defusion is a process of recognizing bodily sensations, feelings, and thoughts as the events that pass through and not buying into the content of “a language” that describes this experience
present moment awareness Present moment awareness is knowledge about the thoughts bodily sensations and feelings that appear in a present moment as a reaction to stimuli.
observation of sensations The observer self is the observations of your own experiences such as feelings, bodily sensations, and thoughts without being identified with them. You are not your thought, feeling or a bodily sensation.

The literature on mindfulness comes with five aspects of mindfulness, which are non-reactivity to inner experience, acting with awareness, observing what is happening inside you (sensations, thoughts, feelings), non-judgment of experience and describing with words your experience.

If you want to know how mindfulness can help to improve your well-being, check out this post.

*The Eastern religions are the religions that originate in East, South and Southeast Asia. This includes Shintoism, Sindoism, Taoism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism


Fletcher, L., Schoendorff, B., & Hayes, S. (2010). Searching for mindfulness in the brain: A process-oriented approach to examining the neural correlates of mindfulness. Mindfulness, 1(1), 41-63. doi:10.1007/s12671-010-0006-5