Emotional Acceptance refers to our ability to be mindful. Being aware of our thoughts and feelings in the moment with acceptance is the hallmark of living in a mindful way. Mindfulness refers to the ability to focus one's attention on those experiences occurring in the present moment in a way that is accepting of the experience. Mindfulness is a skill that is typically taught through mindful practice.
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Just as the pianist needs to practice his scales or the basketball player her free throws, to improve our mindfulness skills we need to practice those behaviors that enhance our ability to be mindful. If we pay attention to what we typically focus our attention to, we often notice that our attention/thinking is focused on the past or the future. We typically think about what happened in the past or what we want to happen in the future. This typically results in our making poor decisions in the present. The present moment is really the only place that we can be, and yet we focus quite a bit of our attention on being somewhere else. Being Mindful increases our ability to concentrate, be successful, be compassionate, and experience happiness happiness more often.
This typically occurs through the practice of meditation. Meditation is an activity during which a person focuses their attention on an object, sensation, activity, thought, or other present moment experience. Meditation is the tool through which we develop the skill of mindfulness. Mindfulness meditations use focused concentration to teach our minds to maintain focus and awareness of the present moment in a manner that is nonjudgmental and accepting of the present experience. Meditation has been shown to impact our brain in many positive ways supporting neuroplasticity or the ability of our brain to form new connections through experience.
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