One way to increase resilience is to engage in mindfulness. Jon Kabat-Zinn, renowned leader in mindfulness, teaches us that “mindfulness means paying attention, in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” This concept encourages gentle awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and the environment around us, without judgment or criticism. For example, instead of passing judgment on our thoughts, it can be beneficial to notice them and accept their presence rather than believing they are reality.
Ever have thoughts like the following? “Why did I say that? I am so awkward!” If you were trying to engage in mindfulness, you might say to yourself, “I’m noticing that I’m having the thought, ‘I am so awkward’.” Sometimes we judge ourselves for thinking a certain way (e.g., “I would be less awkward if I would stop thinking so much!”). Mindfulness encourages you to just notice your thoughts rather than judging them. Engaging in this type of thinking may initially sound foreign, but it helps add distance between us and our thoughts. It can be helpful to remember that our thoughts are not always accurate.
The goal of mindfulness is to acknowledge a thought or sensation, then let it go, without becoming stuck. Often our thoughts focus on past or future concerns. Many times, we are not living in the moment. In mindfulness, we draw attention to the present moment, allowing ourselves to let go of these past and future-oriented thoughts.
Videos to help you practice mindfulness: