Mindfulness: a Little can go a Long Way

Mindfulness is often described in mystical, uber-spiritual language that can make it seem more rarified and unattainable than it actually is. That’s a shame, because, although mindfulness can be viewed as a special way of attending to experience, it is most certainly within reach of all of us (learn more about what mindfulness is; learn more about how to develop mindfulness). In fact, we already have all the necessary equipment to do it: a human body and mind. All we need is a little training and some practice!

Of course, people who have developed their mindfulness to an extremely high degree possess a skill that can seem otherworldly to the rest of us, mystical even. They can be a real inspiration for the development of our own mindfulness. But it’s important to understand that you can experience tremendous benefits in your life even without training your mindfulness skills to such a high level.

Let me make an analogy with triathlon. If you train for a triathlon, even if it’s just a sprint distance one, you’ll get many benefits related to that training. You’ll be fitter, stronger, probably sleep better, etc. Notice that you didn’t need to compete at the elite level in an Ironman to start seeing significant improvements in your life and your health. You don’t need to be Chrissie Wellington or Dave Scott. The same is true for mindfulness.

So, don’t mistake mastery for necessity. Even a little mindfulness training can go a long way!

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