I must admit I’ve been spending a lot of time lately trying to be mindful as a way to avoid stress. If I think about all the things on my plate right now and all the things I have coming up in the next few months it can get kind of hard to dive in and get going on what I need to do right now. Heck, it can even get kind of hard to breathe if I give too much attention to it.
So if I can come back to here and now, what is right in front of me, my own breath, the feelings in my feet and body as I walk, how my hands move on the keyboard, the feeling of air on my face, how food tastes and feels in my mouth or the smell of, well, whatever, then I can move forward with purpose and focus instead of being mired in thoughts of things I’m not even doing right now.
Drs. Kirk Warren Brown and Richard M. Ryan came up with the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS).
“The MAAS is a 15-item scale designed to assess a core characteristic of dispositional mindfulness, namely, open or receptive awareness of and attention to what is taking place in the present. The scale shows strong psychometric properties and has been validated with college, community, and cancer patient samples. Correlational, quasi-experimental, and laboratory studies have shown that the MAAS taps a unique quality of consciousness that is related to, and predictive of, a variety of self-regulation and well-being constructs. The measure takes 10 minutes or less to complete.”
A bit mumbo-jumbo-y, but if you’re of a mind, try taking the Mindfulness Quiz here. The higher your score, the more mindful you are.