a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely
aware of what you're sensing and feeling in the moment,
without interpretation or judgment. Practicing mindfulness
involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other
practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.
much time planning, problem-solving, daydreaming, or thinking
negative or random thoughts can be draining. It can also make
you more likely to experience stress, anxiety and symptoms of
depression. Practicing mindfulness exercises can help you
direct your attention away from this kind of thinking and
engage with the world around you.
WHAT ARE THE
BENEFITS OF MEDITATION?
been studied in many clinical trials. The overall evidence
supports the effectiveness of meditation for various
— High blood
research indicates that meditation can also help people with
asthma and fibromyalgia.
help you experience thoughts and emotions with greater balance
and acceptance. Meditation also has been shown to:
WHAT ARE SOME
EXAMPLES OF MINDFULNESS EXERCISES?
There are many
simple ways to practice mindfulness. Some examples include:
It's hard to
slow down and notice things in a busy world. Try to take the
time to experience your environment with all of your senses
— touch, sound, sight, smell and taste. For example, when
you eat a favorite food, take the time to smell, taste and
truly enjoy it.
— Live in the
intentionally bring an open, accepting and discerning
attention to everything you do. Find joy in simple pleasures.
the way you would treat a good friend.
— Focus on
When you have
negative thoughts, try to sit down, take a deep breath and
close your eyes. Focus on your breath as it moves in and out
of your body. Sitting and breathing for even just a minute can
help.You can also try more structured mindfulness exercises,
— Body scan
Lie on your
back with your legs extended and arms at your sides, palms
facing up. Focus your attention slowly and deliberately on
each part of your body, in order, from toe to head or head to
toe. Be aware of any sensations, emotions or thoughts
associated with each part of your body.
with your back straight, feet flat on the floor and hands in
your lap. Breathing through your nose, focus on your breath
moving in and out of your body. If physical sensations or
thoughts interrupt your meditation, note the experience and
then return your focus to your breath.
Find a quiet
place 10 to 20 feet in length, and begin to walk slowly. Focus
on the experience of walking, being aware of the sensations of
standing and the subtle movements that keep your balance. When
you reach the end of your path, turn and continue walking,
maintaining awareness of your sensations.
WHEN AND HOW
OFTEN SHOULD I PRACTICE MINDFULNESS EXERCISES?
It depends on
what kind of mindfulness exercise you plan to do.
mindfulness exercises can be practiced anywhere and anytime.
Research indicates that engaging your senses outdoors is
structured mindfulness exercises, such as body scan meditation
or sitting meditation, you'll need to set aside time when you
can be in a quiet place without distractions or interruptions.
You might choose to practice this type of exercise early in
the morning before you begin your daily routine.
Aim to practice
mindfulness every day for about six months. Over time, you
might find that mindfulness becomes effortless. Think of it as
a commitment to reconnecting with and nurturing yourself.