How did you become mindful

Mindfulness for more peace and better relationships

More productive and happier thanks to mindfulness? This works out. What mindfulness is and how you can integrate it into your life in small steps.

What is mindfulness

Do you have breakfast, read the news and scan the incoming messages on your smartphone? Afterwards you wonder why the food is already empty and do you vaguely remember what you have just read? Does it sound familiar to you? This is the opposite of mindfulness.

Mindfulness is roughly one certain type of consciousness or attention. Those who are mindful are completely in the here and now and perceive their environment and themselves in relation to themselves reflected and from a standpoint of inner calm, without judging.

There are no clear definition of mindfulness. The best known comes from the biologist Jon Kabat Zinn, the founder of mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) - stress management through mindfulness training.

Jon Kabat Zinn defines mindfulness as attention that is present, intentional, and non-judgmental. Means, your thoughts are with what is happening in you and around you. You perceive what is happening attentively, without evaluating it or labeling the events, and you act consciously instead of simply reacting.

In this state of consciousness are you above all. Mindfulness practice does not want to change states, but simply perceive every moment in everyday life with all its inner and outer facets and its awareness.

Awareness and Freedom of Choice vs. Inner Chaos and Autopilot

So mindfulness is the opposite of the autopilot. She creates Distance between you and your thoughts. Instead of letting thoughts, habits and automated reactions take control, you act consciously on the basis of your experience and perception of the present moment.

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You do not react to autopilot, but act as you want it at the moment - create a moment of awareness between stimulus and reaction, which gives you the space to act mindfully. This method improves your relationship with yourself and your fellow human beings by enabling you to act more empathically and without judgment.

Tradition meets science

Mindfulness is not a modern phenomenon. The Satipatthana Sutta, the Buddha's discourse on the basics of mindfulness has always been Basis of Buddhism. It is considered an essential step on the way to sanity and freedom.

In the traditional chinese medicine Mindfulness practices have always been part of the treatment of certain diseases. Nevertheless, it took several centuries for Western medicine and psychology to take a closer look at the knowledge and experiences of Eastern traditions.

Mindfulness research in Germany began with Interest of psychoanalysts, Beginning of the 20th century, but was not until the really studied scientifically in the late 1970s.

There in clinical studies many positive effects meditations and increased mindfulness have been observed, many health insurance companies now also pay for meditations, MBSR courses, mindfulness apps and other offers that can show you a way to more peace and satisfaction.

Concentration vs. Mindfulness - What's the Difference?

When you focus, you straighten yours Thought wholeheartedly on one thing and hide all other topics. Mindfulness, on the other hand, is another form of awareness.

At full concentration do you come to a question or task in one Flow and forgets everything around you. Mindfulness a softer state of attention, which also allows other impressions and refers not only to the direction of your thoughts, but also to your relationship to your thoughts and your environment.

Why mindfulness? 7 benefits of mindfulness exercises

Mindfulness gives you self-efficacy. Instead of getting overwhelmed by your thoughts and feelings, mindfulness training gives you tools that enable you to stay in your center. The effect of mindfulness training on health is now firmly recognized in psychology.

# 1 Mindfulness helps you manage stress better

Those who are mindful can often better bring themselves back to the present moment instead of being driven crazy by thoughts. According to studies, mindfulness techniques can reduce the improve mental health. Physical stress symptoms that cannot be traced back to any physical cause can also be improved through mindfulness.

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# 2 Mindfulness improves your focus and your performance

A minute of work, a minute of Instagram, coffee would also be good and you have to do laundry later too? Do these spirals of thought sound familiar to you? Content may vary, but most people like to be distracted by videos, life circumstances, or the challenges of everyday life rather than focusing on what's happening in the here and now.

Mindfulness supports your focus by improving the attention span, making you less easily distractible, and giving you back control of your mind.

# 3 Mindfulness exercises can make you more empathetic

Mindfulness can be yours Change perceptions: instead of reacting blindly to the behavior of your counterpart or making a spontaneous judgment, you learn to see him, to understand that he has reasons for his behavior and to show you acceptance. Or you listen more attentively and can better empathize with the experiences of your counterpart and better empathize with what is being told.

# 4 Mindfulness improves your interpersonal relationships

That sounds logical after points 2 and 3, doesn't it? If you are more empathetic and less reactive, you automatically show more acceptance and understanding towards your fellow human beings.

# 5 Mindfulness supports the immune system

Daily mindfulness meditation can, according to researchers at the University of Cleveland Strengthen the immune system. In patients who regularly performed mindfulness-based meditations, fewer inflammatory substances could be measured than in control groups.

# 6 Mindfulness training can help with insomnia

Those who are mindful often sleep better: deeper and longer. However, it has not yet been proven that mindfulness exercises or meditations also eliminate the causes of the sleep disorders. Nevertheless: restful sleep is for regeneration and Resilience indispensable.

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# 7 Regular mindfulness practice can affect the brain

Various studies and meta-analyzes have given subjects who regularly completed mindfulness exercises or special MSR courses Increase in gray matter observed. Gray matter is a part of the central nervous system that is involved, among other things, in the transmission of stimuli.

Learning mindfulness: 7 little mindfulness exercises for every day

The concept of mindfulness is not something you learn once and just live forever. According to Jon Kabat Zinn, certain exercises and courses will help you Mindfulness to be a part of your life close.

The be-all and end-all of mindfulness training is: don't get frustrated. The route is the goal. Every time you put your focus on the moment in everyday life and experience the full awareness, you train mindfulness. Like a bicep doing a bicep curl. Just in the head.

Mindfulness Exercise # 1: Be there. To 100 %. With everything.

Focus on the little moments in everyday life and let normal activities become your personal mindfulness meditation. Don't try to do anything on the side. When you make coffee, smell it, feel it and do every move with full awareness. Feel the things you touch and see if you can connect with a feeling of joy.

Mindfulness Exercise # 2: Connect with the Moment

Your feelings overtake you and your thoughts do what they want again? Then get yourself back from the thoughts and feelings Here and now. Touch something and notice how it feels.

Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. These little mindfulness meditation While it may not solve your problem, it will save you from reliving or dramatizing old issues and potential future concerns over and over again.

Mindfulness Exercise # 3: Be aware of the little things.

This form of mindfulness meditation is also intended to bring you into the here and now. At the same time, it is the perfect training for a broad and gentle concept of attention.

Instead of thinking about the next to-do, perceive your surroundings. The sky, the birds, the character of your surroundings. What beauty can you find in the little things? Allow yourself a moment to let that sink in, smile, focus on and enjoy the little beautiful things in life.

Mindfulness exercise # 4: activate all senses

This method is a small add-on to mindfulness exercise number 3. The best way to perceive the little things and their effect on you is when you activate all of your senses: How does it smell around you How does the air feel or what you touch?

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Mindfulness Exercise # 5: Meditate regularly

To do this, you don't have to sit in the lotus position on a pillow for 20 minutes every day and light incense sticks. Nice ever3 minutes of practice in the morning and in the evening help you to start and end your everyday life mindfully.

By the way, meditation does not mean that you are not allowed to think about anything. The art is to perceive the thoughts, not to evaluate them and not to interact with them.

Learn to meditate now

Mindfulness exercise # 6: Practice yoga

In yoga you combine breathing, movement and awareness. On the one hand, calm breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the central nervous system that is responsible for regeneration. On the other hand, focusing on movement helps you arrive in the moment. Important: find the style that suits you.

Mindfulness Exercise # 7: Do a 30-day mindfulness challenge

Change habits and to form healthy habits can be challenging. So start small and try for a month a little phase of mindfulness every day to integrate them into your everyday life and make them part of your life.

Our free PDF for your mindfulness practice helps you to integrate more mindfulness into your everyday life step by step.

For mindfulness practice


  • The practice of mindfulness has its roots in Buddhism and has also been recognized in the West thanks to the work of the pioneer Jon Kabat Zinn.
  • Mindfulness can bring more calm and joy into your life and improve the quality of your relationships.
  • Research shows that mindfulness practice can have positive effects in different areas of life.
  • The best way to establish mindfulness is to practice it every day: in small moments in daily life or as a special mindfulness meditation.
  • Establishing mindfulness is a lifelong training in which the path is the goal.


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  • Hülsheger, U.R., Feinholdt, A. and Nübold, A. (2015), A low ‐ dose mindfulness intervention and recovery from work: Effects on psychological detachment, sleep quality, and sleep duration. J Occup Organ Psychol, 88: 464-489.

  • Kabat-Zinn, Jon: An outpatient program in behavioral medicine for chronic pain patients based on the practice of mindfulness meditation: Theoretical considerations and preliminary results, General Hospital Psychiatry, Volume 4, Issue 1.1982. Pages 33-47.

  • Last N, Tufts E, Auger LE. The Effects of Meditation on Gray Matter Atrophy and Neurodegeneration: A Systematic Review. J Alzheimers Dis. 2017; 56 (1): 275-286. doi: 10.3233 / JAD-160899. PMID: 27983555.

  • Schmidt, Jacob (2020). 5 Introduction: history and systematization. In: Jacob Schmidt (Eds.), Mindfulness as a Cultural Practice (75-88). Bielefeld: transcript Verlag.

  • (as of January 25, 2020)