What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness and its Benefits

Mindfulness is a practice that involves being aware of what’s happening in your life and paying attention to what you experience. It can help you focus on the good things in your life and appreciate them more deeply. It can also reduce stress, boost your immune system, relieve pain, and make you more resilient to illness. Some studies have shown that mindfulness can even change the structure and function of your brain in positive ways--in as little as 8 weeks of practice!

How it Works

Your mind has a tendency to wander. It's very hard to consciously notice when it's thinking and feeling, but some simple mindfulness techniques can help you train it to settle down. Paying attention to your breathing is a simple way to start focusing on the present moment, but there are many different kinds of mindfulness practices. Some of them are easier to do than others, and each one has its own unique benefits.

Sitting Meditation

Sitting meditation is a common form of mindfulness, and it can be a powerful tool to reduce stress. It involves sitting upright, focusing on your breath, and bringing your attention back to your body when your thoughts are distracted.

Body Scan Exercise

You can also try a "body scan" exercise, which involves slowly and mentally checking in with every part of your body from your head to your toes. You may feel a sensation or experience a feeling in each part of your body, and you can pay special attention to the emotions you are experiencing in that area.


Another type of mindfulness is journaling, which helps you free-flow your thoughts on paper. This can help you slow down and see what's going on in your head, and it can help you to remember what you have written down.

Mindfulness and Relationships

It can also improve your relationships. Some studies show that people who practice mindfulness are more empathetic and less likely to be triggered by other people's emotions. If you have a partner or family member who is struggling, practicing mindfulness with them could help to strengthen their relationship. This kind of mindfulness can help you to notice when your partner's mood or behavior is becoming negative or worrying, and you can respond in a more compassionate way.

Available Mindfulness Resources

You can find a range of mindfulness courses, classes, and programs that you can sign up for. You can even find a therapist who has been trained in mindfulness-based approaches, such as MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) or MBCT (mindfulness-based cognitive therapy). While there are still many unanswered questions about the effects of mindfulness on mental health, it does appear to be an effective treatment for anxiety and depression. It also seems to work for people who have other mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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