What Are The Three Components Of Mindfulness? (and Why It Matters)

What are the three components of mindfulness

What are the three components of mindfulness? Your intention, your attention and your attitude make up the foundation of mindfulness.

There is a continuous interaction between these three elements as you move from living your life on autopilot to becoming more aware and more acutely sensitive to the true nature of life, events and circumstances.

As you start practising mindfulness, you start to wake up to the truth that everything simply is.

The way you think and feel about everything is simply the result of your thoughts, judgements and beliefs about it.

With mindfulness you learn to strip away everything that you attach or assign to life – these things that you create in your own mind that cause your experiences and consequently your reality.

Mindfulness is not just a spiritual practice designed to make you feel at peace.

It is a practise in correcting your mind and correcting your own erroneous thoughts that you have learned to think about certain people, places, things, events and even yourself.

The three components of mindfulness are good to memorize and truly understand because with these 3 pillars you can always shift your mind and your thoughts back ‘on course’.

These 3 components of mindfulness matters because it not only makes up your entire perception of life – it also makes up your energy and what your thoughts and feelings are vibrating to.

The Three Components Of Mindfulness

One of the most impactful things in my own life was when I heard Dr. Wayne Dyer say years ago that ‘when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change’.

This idea that our perceptions create our reality is incredibly powerful.

Whether something is a problem or an opportunity, a blessing or a disaster all comes down to our perceptions.

Reality is then nothing more than events and circumstances. What they are to you and what they mean to you depends on how you perceive them.

This is where mindfulness comes in.

Mindfulness is about having an awareness of this fact and becoming more intentional about the way you perceive life and reality.

With mindfulness you can change any and everything about your life almost instantaneously.

If there ever was a magic bullet technique for transforming your life then this is it. It may not seem like that because in many ways it seems ‘too simple’.

When you look at any person who is highly successful at anything you will quickly see that their lives are not that different from yours.

The one and only big difference between them and you is in their perception of life.

When you become truly aware of the reality of life and when your consciousness starts paying attention it changes the way you think and feel.

This in turn changes your actions and when you change your actions you change your life.

The law of attraction also plays into this because when you change the way you think and feel you change your vibration and consequently what you attract and manifest into your life.

The three components of mindfulness are important as it forms a simple framework for you to become more aware and to transform your life by transforming your mindfulness.

The Three Components Of Mindfulness

Mindfulness can get really complicated and really convoluted when you start getting into all sorts of practices and theories.

The truth is that mindfulness is really simple.

It is effective because it is so simple but it is easy to complicate it. In some ways people want to complicate things.

We often feel that the solutions to ‘big things’ in our lives can’t be simple.

When mindfulness was established in Buddhism over 2500 years ago it was designed as a simple way to ‘correct’ your mind and to live from your highest self.

There are 3 main components to mindfulness and these three components is all you really need to learn. They form the foundation of mindfulness and can act as a roadmap to help you always return to what is really important.

The 3 Main Components Of Mindfulness:

  1. Intention: Deliberate Awareness
  2. Attention: Being Non Reactive
  3. Attitude: Being Non Judgemental

1. Intention: Having Deliberate Awareness

It all starts with an intention. The intention to be in the present moment and to be awake and aware of being right here right now.

Our intention allows us to place our attention on a particular thought or experience.

In mindfulness practices and meditation simply having the intention to place your attention on your body or your breath instantly brings you into the present moment.

Noticing and becoming conscious of your breathing makes you aware of the here and the now and having your attention on the breathing in and out comes with no judgement or external thoughts.

Intention is important because it is what directs your energy and your attention.

Simply having the intention to be more mindful is an incredibly powerful idea. It instantly directs and re-directs your entire life.

Being deliberate about your thoughts and where you place your attention is what gives birth to mindfulness.

2. Attention: Being Non Reactive

When you react, your life is running on autopilot. When you respond you are required to be present – to think and to be aware.

Our brains are designed to run our lives more efficiently. We can not pay deliberate attention to everything and our brains get taught from an early age to react and we learn this mostly unconsciously.

The result is that we have a series of ‘software programs’ in our minds that run old programs – that react in the same old ways which lead to the same old emotions and the same old actions (and results).

Most people who are stressed, depressed or anxious are simply in a constant state of reaction. They are running a program that they have learned to run and they fail to snap out of it and become mindful.

To snap out of the reactive mode of life requires an awareness and you need to start paying attention and ‘catch yourself’ when you do react instead of respond.

When you have your attention on the present moment and when you are fully there and noticing what is going on then you have the power to respond.

When you are not present in the moment your attention drifts and your brain switches back to the old program – back to autopilot.

During mindfulness meditation it is normal and natural for the mind to drift – especially when you are first learning to do this.

Bringing your attention back to the present moment allows you to switch off the autopilot and turn your attention on to your conscious thoughts.

3. Attitude: Being Non Judgemental

Having the intention to be present and conscious allows you to direct your attention. It is inevitable that your attention will drift.

At some point you will ‘snap back’ into the awareness and it is important to be non-judgemental at this point.

Our judgements are ever present in our lives. Our minds have learned through a lifetime of experiences to judge things as good, bad, right, wrong…and the list goes on and on.

Learning to let go of these judgements can be hard at first but it is incredibly freeing.

When you let go of your judgments and see everything ‘as they are’ and remove your judgement you transform the way you feel.

Being non-judgemental changes your relationship not just with other people but with everything you interact with in your life.

It also changes some of the biggest hurdles we have in our lives – our past.

Most of the issues you have with your past is because of your judgments. When you look at your past without judgement, how different does it look?

Attitude sounds like a simple idea but having a non judgemental attitude requires an awareness and an intention.

Our judgements often creep in when our minds are on autopilot.

Making the decision to be non judgemental and to simply notice what’s happening and letting it pass with you as the observer is a powerful way to readjust your life.

Our judgements are often the root cause of our feelings and we unconsciously make ourselves sad, depressed or anxious.

The reason why mindfulness is such a powerful antidote to many of the mental and emotional problems we face in our modern world is the fact that it teaches us to be truly present and to be free from judgement.


With a passion for spirituality, self discovery, and understanding this life, Neod spends his time musing about what is, what could be and what might come about. After writing for 20 years he's still growing, learning, exploring and sharing with love, joy and compassion.

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