Being Intentionally Aware
In this conversation with psychologist Sharon Bent, we firstly define mindfulness as non-judgemental attention, including our awareness of that attention – or metacognition. We then discuss the raft of cognitive, physical and emotional benefits of practising mindfulness. Our discussion then moves to everyday mindfulness, especially to reduce our distractibility. Sharon and I explore so-called ‘multitasking’ and the range of deficits it causes. The conversation then examines how mindfulness is the key capability underlying emotional intelligence and how it is central to useful techniques such as the 2 Conditions Test. This wide-ranging discussion includes the relation of wisdom to mindfulness (contextual understanding, multiple perspective taking, and the role of compassion). Finally, we discuss a breathing exercise conducive of mindfulness and ‘interpersonal mindfulness’.