Mindful Awareness

Sunlight on a wooded path.

“Specifically, self-awareness and mindfulness may be fundamental and unique features of mindful self-care (Shapiro et al. 2007 ). Self-awareness and mindfulness self-care practices include formal (i.e.,intentional practice) and informal (i.e., having a mindful awareness of daily activities) mindful and yoga practices. Self-awareness, one-mindedness, and active practices such as meditation and yoga are increasingly acknowledged for their effectiveness as self-care practices (Linehan 1993 ; Norcross and Guy 2007 ; Sayrs 2012 ; Shapiro and Carlson 2009 ). Adding a layer of mindful awareness, Riegel et al. (2012) described mindful self-care as having two layers: (a) mindful awareness within the actual self-care practices (i.e., informal and formal), as well as (b) an overall monitoring and a reflection upon the sufficiency of overall self-care.”


  • I had a calm awareness of my thoughts
  • I had a calm awareness of my feelings
  • I had a calm awareness of my body
  • I carefully selected which of my thoughts and feelings I used to guide my actions


  • Mindfulness is “the awareness that emerges through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment” (Kabat-Zinn, 2003, p. 145)
  • Research has found that mindfulness practices reduce perceived stress.

Specific Guidance:

  • Suggestions for activities to promote mindful awareness include: 
    • Meditation
    • Mindful breathing
    • Doing only one thing at a time
    • Redirecting your focus to the present moment, rather than thinking about the past or future
  • TED Talk: All It Takes is 10 Mindful Minutes



  • Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2003). The benefits of being present: mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of personality and social psychology, 84(4), 822-848.
  • Cavanagh, K., Strauss, C., Cicconi, F., Griffiths, N., Wyper, A., & Jones, F. (2013). A randomised controlled trial of a brief online mindfulness-based intervention. Behaviour research and therapy, 51(9), 573-578.
  • Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: past, present, and future. Clinical psychology Science and practice, 10(2), 144-156.
  • Snippe, E., Nyklíček, I., Schroevers, M. J., & Bos, E. H. (2015). The temporal order of change in daily mindfulness and affect during mindfulness-based stress reduction.
  • Journal Of Counseling Psychology, 62 (2), 106-114. doi:10.1037/cou0000057