In neuroscience, the default mode network, or DMN, is interacting brain regions that form a network that becomes active when the brain is at wakeful rest and not focused on a specific task. Examples are daydreaming, mind-wandering, and ruminating. We may be thinking about others, thinking about ourselves, remembering the past, and planning for the future. These are the ideal times for worry, insecurity, regret, and other negative feelings to creep into our minds. When this happen, often needlessly and without good reason, our emotions follow and become negative too.
As a result, we feel distressed and unhappy, and our relationships often suffer. By becoming aware when our default mode network becomes active and we start to ruminate and entertain negative thoughts, we can learn to gently bring our awareness back to the present moment. This is done by practicing mindfulness. Consequently, our thoughts will be more rational and our moods more stable, which will positively influence our interaction with others as well.
Next, we consider why mindfulness is important in a caring role.