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What are the origins of Minfulness, what is it for and its benefits?

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness has become increasingly popular in recent years, with books and reader recommendations promoting its benefits for reducing stress and improving well-being. But what exactly is mindfulness? In this article, we will delve into its basic concept, origin and development, as well as the principles, techniques and exercises involved. We will also explore its benefits and the ways in which mindfulness can be incorporated into our daily lives, including work and overall health. Let’s dive into the world of mindfulness and discover its power to achieve a state of full consciousness and inner peace.

Basic concept

Mindfulness, in its most basic concept, is a philosophy of life and a series of practices developed through psychological research. It is a tool to improve physical and emotional health by fully engaging in present experiences. The practice of mindfulness consists of paying intentional attention to the present moment without judgment. It allows people to reach a state of full consciousness, improving their ability to manage their thoughts and emotions. This technique is often used to reduce stress and anxiety, while cultivating an overall sense of well-being.

One of the fundamental principles of mindfulness is the emphasis on experiencing the present moment. This includes the ability to recognize and appreciate the reality of each moment, cultivating a non-judgmental and accepting approach to one’s thoughts and feelings. By focusing on the present without being clouded by past or future worries, people can effectively improve their mental and emotional presence. Mindfulness also fosters the development of a “beginner’s mind,” allowing people to approach each experience with a fresh and open perspective, free of bias or assumptions.

Origin and development

The practice of mindfulness has its roots in ancient contemplative traditions, particularly Buddhist meditation. However, its integration into Western psychology can be attributed to the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, who developed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in the late 1970s. This marked the beginning of the integration of mindfulness practices into modern medical care and psychology. Kabat-Zinn’s pioneering work laid the foundation for the development of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and other mindfulness-based interventions, which are now widely used in clinical settings to help people with various mental health conditions.

Over the years, mindfulness-based interventions have continued to gain popularity and have been the subject of extensive scientific research. This has led to the development of a wealth of knowledge about the effectiveness of mindfulness in improving overall well-being and managing a variety of physical and mental health challenges. The integration of mindfulness into mainstream psychology and health care has broadened its accessibility, allowing an increasing number of people to benefit from its transformative effects.

Principles and attitudes

At the core of mindfulness are several key principles and attitudes that guide its practice. These include cultivating non-judgment, patience, beginner’s mentality, trust, not looking for results, acceptance and letting go. These principles form the basis of a mindful perspective and are essential for fostering a state of full awareness and presence in all aspects of life. By adopting these attitudes, people can develop a greater capacity for self-understanding, compassion and resilience.

Techniques and exercises

Mindfulness is typically cultivated through various techniques and exercises aimed at improving present moment awareness and mental clarity. These practices can be integrated into daily life and adapted to different environments, making mindfulness a versatile tool for improving overall well-being. Some of the main techniques and exercises include mindful breathing, body scan meditation, loving-kindness meditation and mindful movement. Each of these practices serves to anchor people in the present moment, fostering a deeper connection with their experiences and promoting emotional balance and cognitive clarity.

Attention to breathing

One of the fundamental practices in mindfulness is the cultivation of awareness through focused attention on the breath. This involves consciously directing attention to the physical sensations associated with the breath as it enters and leaves the body. By anchoring awareness in the rhythmic flow of the breath, people can achieve a heightened sense of presence and relaxation, while developing their ability to refocus their attention in the face of distractions.

Mindful breathing exercises are often used as a means to reduce stress and promote emotional regulation. By engaging in intentional, rhythmic breathing, people can create a sense of inner calm and balance, even in the midst of challenging circumstances. This simple yet powerful technique can be practiced in any environment, providing an easily accessible means of cultivating mindfulness throughout the day.

Exploration of the senses

Another valuable technique in mindfulness practice is sensory scanning, which involves directing focused attention to various sensory experiences in the present moment. This may include paying close attention to the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and physical sensations in the environment. By immersing themselves in the richness of sensory experiences, people can deepen their connection to the present moment and cultivate a deep sense of gratitude and wonder for the world around them.

The exploration of the senses serves as a powerful antidote to the tendency to dwell on the past or worry about the future, redirecting attention to the vivid and ever-changing panorama of the present moment. This practice is particularly valuable in promoting emotional resilience and reducing the impact of stress and anxiety on mental well-being.

Body and movement

Mindfulness extends beyond traditional sitting meditation practices to encompass the cultivation of awareness through mindful movement. This may involve engaging in activities such as moving meditation, yoga or tai chi with a deliberate focus on physical sensations and body movements. By incorporating mindfulness into body movements, individuals can foster a seamless integration of present moment awareness into their daily activities, promoting a sense of embodiment and mental clarity.

Mindful movement practices allow people to anchor their attention in the physical experience of the body, fostering a deep sense of grounding and presence. This not only contributes to physical well-being, but also improves emotional resilience and cognitive flexibility, enabling people to face the various challenges of daily life with greater ease and equanimity.


The practice of mindfulness offers a wide range of benefits that contribute to improving overall well-being. Some of the main advantages of incorporating mindfulness into daily life include reducing stress and anxiety, improving attention and cognitive function, cultivating emotional resilience, and promoting a positive outlook on life. In addition, mindfulness has been found to have a profound impact on physical health, with potential benefits for conditions such as chronic pain, high blood pressure and immune function.
By developing a regular mindfulness practice, individuals can experience improvements in their relationships, work performance and overall quality of life. Cultivating present moment awareness and non-reactivity enables people to respond to life’s challenges with greater calm and clarity, while fostering a deep sense of connection and empathy in their interactions with others.

Mindfulness in everyday life

Given the adaptive nature of mindfulness, it can be integrated into various aspects of daily life, offering valuable support in navigating the complexities of modern existence. Whether in the context of work, relationships or personal well-being, mindfulness serves as a guiding principle for living with intention and presence. By incorporating mindfulness into daily routines, individuals can experience a profound change in their ability to manage stress, cultivate emotional balance and foster a deep sense of well-being.

At work

Mindfulness is increasingly recognized as a valuable resource for promoting emotional well-being and improving workplace performance. By integrating mindfulness practices into the work environment, individuals can effectively manage stress, improve concentration and foster a positive and inclusive work culture. Mindfulness-based interventions in the workplace have been shown to reduce absenteeism, improve job satisfaction, and promote overall employee health and well-being.

By incorporating brief mindfulness exercises into the workday, such as mindful breathing or short meditative breaks, individuals can effectively manage the pressures of work and cultivate a greater sense of mental clarity and resilience. This, in turn, can lead to a more productive and harmonious work environment, benefiting both individuals and the organizations to which they belong.

In health and wellness

In the field of health and wellness, mindfulness has emerged as a powerful tool for promoting holistic wellness and managing a variety of physical and mental health conditions. Mindfulness practice has been integrated into clinical settings as a complementary approach to traditional medical and psychological interventions. It has been particularly beneficial in the management of conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, depression and stress-related disorders.

By incorporating mindfulness into healthcare settings, individuals can gain valuable support in managing the challenges of illness and cultivate a sense of empowerment and resilience. Mindfulness-based interventions have been shown to not only alleviate symptoms of various health conditions, but also contribute to overall improvement in quality of life and emotional well-being.

Monica Esgueva - From Mindfulness to Awareness

You can see the Mindfulness Course HERE

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In summary, mindfulness is a powerful and widely practiced concept that has its origins in psychological research. Through its principles and techniques, mindfulness enables people to achieve a state of full awareness and improve their overall well-being. With its many benefits, including stress reduction and improved physical and emotional health, it can be practiced in any environment and integrated into daily life for a more conscious and mindful experience. From work to personal health and wellness, the benefits of mindfulness are endless.

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