Mindfulness is the idea of focusing on the current moment – being aware of where you are and what you’re doing and not getting overwhelmed by what’s happening around you. By centering you in the present moment, mindfulness practice can have a calming effect.
A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting their thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.
— “Mindfulness,” Auburn University College of Education
Stress can affect our mental and physical health in different ways with potential symptoms ranging from intense headaches to a weakened immune system to depression.
Mindfulness has numerous benefits, including reducing stress and improving concentration. If you’re struggling to stay focused or experiencing anxiety, practicing mindfulness can help.
Check out “Mindfulness for Beginners” at Psychology Today for more information, then try implementing one of the practices below to start your mindfulness journey.
Ways to Practice Mindfulness
- Take a mindful shower. Notice the sensations on your body and around you. Picture your stress washing away.
- Take a mindful walk. Be present and aware of the sights and sounds around you.
- Focus on your breathing. Think of your thoughts as passing clouds . . . let them go and return your focus.
- Low on time, or want some guidance? You can try checking out meditation apps or guided meditation videos online.
- Start small. Start with 5 minutes of mindfulness practice and work your way up to 20 minutes. Remember, practicing every day is more important than how long you practice.
Some Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness
- Reduces anxiety. Mindfulness can reduce anxiety by 38 percent by improving the part of the brain that controls worrying.
- Improves concentration. Mindfulness can improve your ability to focus and ignore distractions.
- Minimizes fatigue. Regularly practicing mindfulness can improve sleep quality and minimize insomnia and fatigue.
- Increases resilience. Practicing mindfulness every day for 25 minutes can increase resilience to psychological stress.
- Karen Young, “13 Different Ways to Practice Mindfulness – And the Difference it Can Make,” last modified December 17, 2016, https://www.heysigmund.com/different-ways-to-practice-mindfulness/
- “Stress Effects,” The American Institute of Stress, accessed November 26, 2018, https://www.stress.org/stress-effects/.
- “76 Most Powerful Mindfulness Quotes: Your Daily Dose of Inspiration,” Positive Psychology Program, last modified June 18, 2017, https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/mindfulness-quotes/.
- “Mindfulness,” Auburn University College of Education, last modified May 11, 2018, http://www.education.auburn.edu/school-of-kinesiology/mindfulness/.