The Seven Principles of Mindfulness

11 April 2022

One woman, meditating by the lake outdoors alone.

There are seven principles that form a good foundation for mindfulness, written by Jon Kabat-Zin. When you start to practise one of these elements, the other ones will follow. Your ability to bring these attitudes in your mindfulness practice affects your ability to calm an anxious mind.

Non-judging

The world isn’t black and white, but most of us see judgements as that. It’s an automatic judgement that we make which influences our choices in ways we might not even realise. It’s important to find awareness of this. Once you can recognise the judgements you make, you can then start to work around them.

Patience

You need to understand the events of your life will all unfold in time, and accept that. There is no need to rush anything, it will all happen as and when it’s supposed to happen. You should live in the moment and not become too focused on the future. You will miss out on so many of the joys in the present if you do this. 

Beginner’s Mind

Life is ever-changing. No moment will ever be exactly the same as another. Don’t let your experiences be filtered by what you believe that you already know. You haven’t heard, seen, or experienced everything that life has to offer. 

Trust

Be your own person and let your ideals guide you. It’s the only way to be sure that you’re on the right path. Be open to learning and listening, but know that the choices you make should be based on what you think and believe.

Non-Striving

Recognise that who you are is enough. Embrace who you are and find comfort in that.

Acceptance

Accept the way things really are, don’t be clouded by your biases. That doesn’t mean you should become complacent or choose to be content with things you may not like.

Letting Go

Relaxing can be difficult because we become fixated on our own thoughts and ideas. This increases our stress and we can’t focus on the present, free from worry.

For more in depth information about these principles, click here.

We’ve spoken a lot about how we can be mindful and what each of the seven principles of mindfulness mean, but we haven’t really delved into why we should be mindful.

Mindfulness practices can help us to:

  1. Increase our ability to regulate our emotions
  2. Decrease our stress levels, anxiety, and depression
  3. Focus our attention
  4. Observe our thoughts and feelings without judgement
  5. Improve our well-being

Mindfulness supports many attitudes that contribute to a satisfied life. It makes it easier for us to live in the moment so that you are fully engaged in activities, you can enjoy the moments as they happen, and you have a better ability to deal with any negative events.

Mindfulness is a basic human ability, we just need to learn how to access it. For our suggested mindfulness exercises, click here.

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