Mindfulness is a mental state of non-judgmental attention achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, with calmness.
- Learn three interesting things about mindfulness here.
- Download a free beginners’ guide to mindfulness meditation.
Self-awareness is defined as one’s ability to focus attention on the self or on the external environment (Shelley Duval and Robert Wicklund, 1972). A self-aware person is aware of their various aspects of themselves, such as personality traits, behaviors, and feelings.
Researcher Tasha Eurich found that even though most people believe they are self-aware, self-awareness is present in only 10%–15% of the people in their study.
What is the simplest way to define mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a state of being aware of one’s thoughts, feelings, sensations, and surroundings in the present moment, with gentle kindness and nurturing acceptance.
How is mindfulness different from self-awareness?
The difference between mindfulness and awareness is that mindfulness is more of a mental process that includes self-reflection and non-judgmental acceptance. While self-awareness is a more sensorial concept that allows one to be more present within their surroundings. Both are states of mind and show up in meditation.
Mindfulness & Self-awareness Quotes
- “You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.” ― Ernest Hemingway,
- “Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.” – Amit Ray
- “I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.” ― Charlotte Brontë
- “Be happy in the moment. That is enough.” – Mother Teresa
- “When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.” ― Ralph Ellison
- “The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you’re doing.” – Jon Kabat Zinn
- “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Gustav Jung
- “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” – Jon Kabat Zinn
- “When you’re different, sometimes you don’t see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn’t.” ― Jodi Picoult
- “Mindfulness is a pause – the space between stimulus and response: that’s where choice lies.” – Tara Brach
- “But you can’t get away from yourself. You can’t decide not to see yourself anymore. You can’t decide to turn off the noise in your head.” ― Jay Asher
- “Mindfulness gives you time. Time gives you choices. Choices, skillfully made, lead to freedom.” – Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
- “There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors.”― J. Michael Straczynski
- “Mindfulness is deliberately paying full attention to what is happening around you– in your body, heart, and mind. Mindfulness is awareness without criticism or judgment.” – Jan Chozen Bays
“I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.” ― Hermann Hesse
“Cultivating a generous spirit starts with mindfulness. Mindfulness, simply stated, means paying attention to what is happening; it’s about what is really going on.” – Nell Newman
“I think that we are like stars. Something happens to burst us open; but when we burst open and think we are dying; we’re actually turning into a supernova. And then when we look at ourselves again, we see that we’re suddenly more beautiful than we ever were before!” ― C. JoyBell C.
“Mindfulness is a quality that’s always there. It’s an illusion that there’s a meditation and post-meditation period, which I always find amusing, because you’re either mindful or you’re not.” – Richard Gere
“I think … you still have no idea. The effect you can have.” ― Suzanne Collins
“Mindfulness meditation should be more than just watching what you are doing. What you really need to watch is your motivation.” – Thubten Zopa Rinpoche
“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” ― Michel de Montaigne
“Mindfulness meditation doesn’t change life. Life remains as fragile and unpredictable as ever. Meditation changes the heart’s capacity to accept life as it is.” – Sylvia Boorstein
“Strong people have a strong sense of self-worth and self-awareness; they don’t need the approval of others.” ― Roy T. Bennett
“Mindfulness helps us to live in harmony with our thoughts, words, and actions.” – Amit Ray
“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?” ― Marcus Aurelius
“At the center of your being, you have the answer; you know who you are, and you know what you want.” ― Lao Tzu
“We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the buy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
““You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Sharon Salzberg
“Wherever you are, be there totally.” – Eckhart Tolle
“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” – Alan Watts
“Mindfulness helps us get better at seeing the difference between what’s happening and the stories we tell ourselves about what’s happening, stories that get in the way of direct experience. Often such stories treat a fleeting state of mind as if it were our entire and permanent self.” ― Sharon Salzberg
“If it’s out of your hands, it deserves freedom from your mind too.” – Ivan Nuru
“The first and best victory is to conquer self.” – Plato
“For what it’s worth, it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.” – Max Depree
“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.” – Pema Chodron
“Training your mind to be the present moment is the number one key to making healthier choices.” – Susan Albers
“How we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the character of our experience, and therefore, the quality of our lives.” – Sam Harris
“Nothing is worth more than this day. You cannot relive yesterday. Tomorrow is still beyond your reach.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“You are capable of so much more than we usually dare to imagine.” ― Sharon Salzberg
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.” – Anne Lamott
“The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle.” – Tara Brach
“These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.” – Najwa Zebian
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu
“Don’t compromise yourself. You’re all you’ve got.” ― Janis Joplin
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have.” – Eckhart Tolle
“My friend…care for your psyche…know thyself, for once we know ourselves, we may learn how to care for ourselves” -Socrates
“No matter how difficult the past, you can always begin again today.” – Jack Kornfield
“You don’t need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are!” ― John Lennon
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” – Buddha
“Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” – Hermann Hesse
“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“Happiness, not in another place but this place… not for another hour, but this hour.” – Walt Whitman
“The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness.” – Sakyong Mipham
“Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges. So relax.” – Bryant McGill
“In today’s rush, we all think too much, seek too much, want too much– and forget the joy of just being.” – Eckhart Tolle
“Let go of the battle. Breathe quietly and let it be. Let your body relax and your heart soften.” – Jack Kornfield
“When you focus on the good, the good gets better.” – Abraham Hicks
“Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.” – Nicole Reed
“When the mind is still, the beauty of the self is reflected.” – Vanda Scaravelli
“Just when you feel you have no time to relax, know this is the moment you most need to relax.” – Matt Haig
“The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size.” – Albert Einstein
“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open.” – Frank Zappa
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
“When you replace ‘why is this happening to me?’ to ‘what is this trying to teach me?’ everything shifts.” – Unknown
“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then is an empty desk a sign?” – Albert Einstein
“We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand melting like a snowflake.” – Francis Bacon Sr.
“What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.” – Buddha
“Compassion and kindness towards oneself are intrinsically woven into mindfulness.” – Jon Kabat Zinn
“There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do, and mostly live.” – Dalai Lama
“We are sitting under the tree of our thinking minds, wondering why we’re not getting any sunshine.” – Ram Dass
“Every time we become aware of a thought, as opposed to being lost in a thought, we experience that opening of the mind.” – Joseph Goldstein
“When you focus on what works for you and what doesn’t, you step out of that comparison cycle and spiral into your real, beautiful life.” – Robyn Conley Downs
“In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power.” – Yuval Noah Harari
“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit.” – St. Francis
“With awareness, we can make concious choices, instead of letting our habitual thoughts and patterns run the show.” – Tamara Levitt
“It takes courage to say yes to rest and play, in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a symbol status.” – Brene Brown
“I will breathe. I will think of solutions. I will not let my worry control me. I will not let my stress level break me.” – Shayne McClendon
“To produce at peak level, you need to work for extended periods with full concentration on a single task free from distraction.” – Cal Newport
“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” – Dalai Lama
“The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“The perfect moment is this one.” – Jon Kabat Zinn
“All the suffering, stress, and addiction comes from not realizing you already are what you are looking for.” – Jon Kabat Zinn
Why do we need to be mindfully aware of ourselves?
We need to be mindful of ourselves because we are the ones who make most of the decisions in our lives. We are the ones who create our future. Mindfulness awareness gives us the time to ponder on an issue and respond, not impulsively react, to it rationally.
We need to be mindful of ourselves because only then can we truly understand what is going on inside us, around us, and in our world. A state of mindful awareness helps us craft the best possible future version of ourselves.
If we want to live a life that is full of gratitude, contentment, and joy then it’s up to us to be mindful of what we do and how we do it. It’s up to us to take responsibility for our actions and how they impact others.
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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy—a medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher. Founder and Chief Editor of The Happiness Blog. Writes on mental health, happiness, positive psychology, mindfulness, and philosophy (especially Stoicism).
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