Discuss the relevance of mindfulness to developing interpersonal skills. Support the argument in your essay with research findings in the field of mindfulness.
Kabat-zinn (2006) describes mindfulness as ‘paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present and non judgementally’. Mindfulness is a form of self-awareness and can be described as a state of being in the present, and accepting things for what they are. Being mindful provides us with the realisation that the past cannot be changed no matter what we do, and helps us to accept what is happening in the present, be it good or bad. By being accepting of the present, and accepting that the future cannot be predicted is called being ‘mindful’. Some one who is able to reflect on his/her performance truthfully, and be able to experience the adverse feelings related to failure, and then possess the right frame of mind to be able to change it, so they can start again is an example of someone who is mindful. In contrast, people who do not take failure as a chance to start again, or see it as something to learn from, are exposed to having low self-esteem and therefore do not possess the level of mindfulness required in order to get through tough situations. Williams (2011) suggests that, being mindful can help people develop more of an awareness of their emotions, actions, senses and thoughts, in that present moment, and with the ability not to judge or criticise themselves or their situations that they are faced with. This also supports Kabat-zinn’s (2006) definition of mindfulness. Williams (2011) also suggests that being mindful allows individuals to alternate their attention to what is happening in the current situation, to what they are feeling. Improving mindfulness can help individuals make healthier decisions about things based on rational emotion and thought. Therefore, when interpersonal communication is taking place, individuals are able to recognise how others are feeling and creating...
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