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Mindfulness Meditation

Dr Carrie Hayward | 26 Oct 2020
To be mindful is to pay attention to purpose. That is, paying attention to what is happening both around us and inside of us with consciousness and choice. So, mindfulness is an awareness process. We are not naturally mindful and therefore we have to train ourselves to develop this practice. And meditation is a powerful way to do this.

Mindfulness meditation is about bringing our attention to a point of focus in the present moment (either in our bodies or in the world around us). It is a noticing process, not a control process. So we are not trying to change our experiences, but instead just simply notice them with curiosity, neutrality and acceptance. Part of this process is noticing when we have become distracted away from our point of focus, which usually happens by thought (and often happens a lot!). So rather than trying to stop thought, mindfulness is about noticing thought when it appears, and then choosing to bring our attention back to our point of focus again. It’s the noticing and coming back which is building the attention muscle in our brain. So the more we do this, the more we are developing the skill of mindfulness at a neurological level, and therefore the more we be mindful throughout our day.

In this regard, mindfulness meditation is having impact at a physiological, neurological and psychological level and therefore it is not surprising that it’s a practice that has recently swept across the western world. It can be practiced anywhere at any time, with eyes open or closed, sitting or standing and it can be practiced by anyone!

About Dr Carrie Hayward

Dr Carrie Hayward is a clinical psychologist with over 12 years experience in private practice and community health settings. She currently heads up her own private practice, Hayward Psychology, in Melbourne. Her main practice in therapy in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which is mindfulness based approach that helps people to live a rich and meaningful life. Carrie also directs a mindfulness studio, and co-founded the Mindful Walk, a community fundraising event that raises money for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Carrie is about to publish her first book, a psychology gift book, to be released in early 2020. You can find our more on her website

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