- What is Mindfulness?
- The Types of Mindfulness Practice
- The Benefits of Mindfulness Practice:
- 8 Facts About Mindfulness:
- Mindfulness Is Not All in Your Head
- How to Sit for Meditation Practice
- Try This Beginner’s Mindfulness Meditation:
- Why Meditation Apps Work (But Not For Everyone)
- How Do Meditation Apps Work?
- Benefits of Mindfulness Apps
- Limitations of Mindfulness Apps
- Why Meditation Apps Can’t Replace Meditation Courses
- Do Meditation Apps Work For Everyone?
- If you want to find out more – we also offer mindful meditation at Well Clinic
- Benefits of Mindfulness — HelpGuide.org
- What are the benefits of mindfulness?
- Mindfulness techniques
- Mindfulness meditation and other practices
- Getting started on your own
- Practice acceptance
- Mindfulness exercises
- Basic mindfulness meditation
- Learning to stay in the present
- Why Mindfulness Isn’t for Everyone
- What Is Mindfulness, Anyway?
- The Problem with Mindfulness
- So, Who Is Mindfulness For?
- Make Mindfulness Work for You
- Take the pressure off
- Notice your breathing
- Be aware of judgements
- Get outside
- Mindfulness: Health Trend or Key to Happiness?
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness. It’s a pretty straightforward word. It suggests that the mind is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, to the space you’re moving through.
That might seem trivial, except for the annoying fact that we so often veer from the matter at hand.
Our mind takes flight, we lose touch with our body, and pretty soon we’re engrossed in obsessive thoughts about something that just happened or fretting about the future. And that makes us anxious.
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Yet no matter how far we drift away, mindfulness is right there to snap us back to where we are and what we’re doing and feeling. If you want to know what mindfulness is, it’s best to try it for a while. Since it’s hard to nail down in words, you will find slight variations in the meaning in books, websites, audio, and video.
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Mindfulness is a quality that every human being already possesses, it’s not something you have to conjure up, you just have to learn how to access it.
The Types of Mindfulness Practice
While mindfulness is innate, it can be cultivated through proven techniques. Here are some examples:
- Seated, walking, standing, and moving meditation (it’s also possible lying down but often leads to sleep);
- Short pauses we insert into everyday life;
- Merging meditation practice with other activities, such as yoga or sports.
The Benefits of Mindfulness Practice:
When we meditate it doesn’t help to fixate on the benefits, but rather to just do the practice, and yet there are benefits or no one would do it.
When we’re mindful, we reduce stress, enhance performance, gain insight and awareness through observing our own mind, and increase our attention to others’ well-being.
Mindfulness meditation gives us a time in our lives when we can suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness—to ourselves and others.
8 Facts About Mindfulness:
- Mindfulness is not obscure or exotic. It’s familiar to us because it’s what we already do, how we already are. It takes many shapes and goes by many names.
- Mindfulness is not a special added thing we do. We already have the capacity to be present, and it doesn’t require us to change who we are.
But we can cultivate these innate qualities with simple practices that are scientifically demonstrated to benefit ourselves, our loved ones, our friends and neighbors, the people we work with, and the institutions and organizations we take part in
- You don’t need to change. Solutions that ask us to change who we are or become something we’re not have failed us over and over again. Mindfulness recognizes and cultivates the best of who we are as human beings.
- Mindfulness has the potential to become a transformative social phenomenon. Here’s why:
- Anyone can do it.
- It’s a way of living. Mindfulness is more than just a practice. It brings awareness and caring into everything we do—and it cuts down needless stress.
Even a little makes our lives better.
- It’s evidence-based. We don’t have to take mindfulness on faith. Both science and experience demonstrate its positive benefits for our health, happiness, work, and relationships.
- It sparks innovation.
Mindfulness Is Not All in Your Head
When we think about mindfulness and meditating (with a capital M), we can get hung up on thinking about our thoughts: we’re going to do something about what’s happening in our heads. It’s as if these bodies we have are just inconvenient sacks for our brains to lug around.
Having it all remain in your head, though, lacks a feeling of good old gravity.
Meditation begins and ends in the body. It involves taking the time to pay attention to where we are and what’s going on, and that starts with being aware of our body
That approach can make it seem floating—as though we don’t have to walk. We can just waft.
But meditation begins and ends in the body. It involves taking the time to pay attention to where we are and what’s going on, and that starts with being aware of our body. That very act can be calming, since our body has internal rhythms that help it relax if we give it a chance.
How to Sit for Meditation Practice
Here’s a posture practice that can be used as the beginning stage of a period of meditation practice or simply as something to do for a minute, maybe to stabilize yourself and find a moment of relaxation before going back into the fray. If you have injuries or other physical difficulties, you can modify this to suit your situation.
- Take your seat. Whatever you’re sitting on—a chair, a meditation cushion, a park bench—find a spot that gives you a stable, solid seat, not perching or hanging back.
- Notice what your legs are doing. If on a cushion on the floor, cross your legs comfortably in front of you. (If you already do some kind of seated yoga posture, go ahead.) If on a chair, it’s good if the bottoms of your feet are touching the floor.
- Straighten—but don’t stiffen— your upper body. The spine has natural curvature. Let it be there. Your head and shoulders can comfortably rest on top of your vertebrae.
- Situate your upper arms parallel to your upper body. Then let your hands drop onto the tops of your legs. With your upper arms at your sides, your hands will land in the right spot. Too far forward will make you hunch. Too far back will make you stiff. You’re tuning the strings of your body—not too tight and not too loose.
- Drop your chin a little and let your gaze fall gently downward. You may let your eyelids lower. If you feel the need, you may lower them completely, but it’s not necessary to close your eyes when meditating. You can simply let what appears before your eyes be there without focusing on it.
- Be there for a few moments. Relax. Now get up and go about your day. And if the next thing on the agenda is doing some mindfulness practice by paying attention to your breath or the sensations in your body, you’ve started off on the right foot—and hands and arms and everything else.
- Begin again. When your posture is established, feel your breath—or some say “follow” it—as it goes out and as it goes in. (Some versions of the practice put more emphasis on the outbreath, and for the inbreath you simply leave a spacious pause.) Inevitably, your attention will leave the breath and wander to other places. When you get around to noticing this—in a few seconds, a minute, five minutes—return your attention to the breath. Don’t bother judging yourself or obsessing over the content of the thoughts. Come back. You go away, you come back.
- That’s it. That’s the practice. It’s often been said that it’s very simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. The work is to just keep doing it. Results will accrue.
Try This Beginner’s Mindfulness Meditation:
A 5-Minute Breathing Meditation To Cultivate Mindfulness. This practice is designed to reduce stress, anxiety, and negative emotions, cool yourself down when your temper flares, and sharpen your concentration skills.
Explore the science of mindfulness, learn how to meditate, and how to practice mindful movement, plus dispel some of the myths of mindfulness with Mindful’s Getting Started Guide.
Why Meditation Apps Work (But Not For Everyone)
Meditation and mindfulness are getting more attention now than almost ever before. We use technology in all aspects of our lives today, including in meditation. Do meditation apps work? Yes, they can. However, they have limitations.
Mindfulness practice can improve wellness and mental health among a diverse range of people. However, some people are concerned that its current “trendiness” encourages a watered-down version of meditation.
Technology has the potential to feed into this concern. If you understand their pros and cons then you can maximize the apps’ benefits in your own life.
How Do Meditation Apps Work?
Asking “do meditation apps work?” is a more complicated question than it may seem at first. One core reason is that there are such a variety of different apps. If you head to the app store on your own device right now, you’ll be able to find dozens of mindfulness apps on your own. Dig a little bit deeper and you’ll discover that there are actually hundreds of them on the market today.
There are many different types of meditation. Mindfulness is one form of meditation, in which you focus entirely (in so much as possible) on the present moment. Most meditation apps are mindfulness apps.
In other words, meditation is the broader category. Mindfulness is a meditation practice but not all meditation is mindfulness. There are other types of meditation.
Most meditation apps focus on bringing your attention to the present moment. Thus, most meditation apps work by helping you practice mindfulness.
Benefits of Mindfulness Apps
Mindfulness apps have only been around for a handful of years. Therefore, we don’t have access to extensive research indicating the scientific benefits. There have been a few studies however. Plus, of course, we have anecdotal evidence from those who use meditation apps that suggest what some of the benefits may be.
Stress reduction is the number one benefit of mindfulness apps.
This is no small thing. Stress is a leading cause of many of our mental and physical health issues. Research indicates that many people feel significantly less stressed after using meditation apps for as little as two weeks. Even those who don’t report this destressed feeling show signs in their bodies that indeed the meditation apps are helping to reduce their stress.
Do meditation apps work? Here are some of the additional benefits:
- Enhanced focus and less wandering of the mind
- Increase in overall positive emotions
- Improvement in symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Lower levels of fatigue
- Reduced aggression and judgment of others; increased compassion
- Reduced sense of external pressure
- Self-acceptance improves
Limitations of Mindfulness Apps
Clearly, the number one limitation of meditation and mindfulness apps is that they require you to use your technological gadgets.
We already spend more and more time on our phones, tablets, and laptops. People everywhere are showing increasing signs of technological stress. Everything from the pinging of notifications to the blue light emanating from the screen may have potential harm for our mental health.
Therefore, using technology to practice mindfulness is ironic at best. It may come with some risks that we aren’t yet aware of.
Other limitations of mindfulness apps include:
- There are hundreds of them so it’s challenging to find the one or two that are right for you.
- They focus on very short sessions. People seeking more than ten minutes of practice at a time may feel limited.
- If you don’t know what your goal is then the apps might not feel useful.
- They are one-sided rather than truly interactive.
Why Meditation Apps Can’t Replace Meditation Courses
Do meditation apps work? Sure, to some degree. However, they simply can’t replace meditation courses. In particular, apps are no substitute for in-person meditation classes and retreats. The technological aspect is one key reason.
People benefit more from mindfulness practice if they are able to enter a serene space. Technology naturally limits that serenity.
Additionally, when you go to a place outside of your home to practice meditation, your focus is already honed. If you’re on your phone, you can easily become distracted. It’s hard enough to sit still with your monkey mind in a retreat setting; trying to do so in your own home or office while on your mobile phone is asking a lot of your brain.
Moreover, meditation isn’t as simple as what’s offered in a mindfulness app. Meditation, and true in-depth mindfulness practice, is something that you hone over time.
An app can only teach you so much. An in-person teacher, on the other hand, has the experience and wisdom to be able to provide you with more insight.
You can take your meditation to the next level when you attend meditation courses. You can ask questions. Moreover, you can go deeper to figure out where mindfulness fits in your own life including within your spiritual practice, relationships, and career.
Mindfulness apps can provide a first step. They can’t accompany you along the entire journey.
Do Meditation Apps Work For Everyone?
With all of that in mind, there’s certainly nothing wrong with trying meditation apps. They may be helpful. If you need immediate stress reduction in your life then you should certainly give mindfulness apps a try.
Meditation practioners may benefit some from the apps. If you seek to supplement your regular mindfulness practice with technological aids, they can be a complement to what you’re already doing.
If you’re new to the concept of meditation and just want to get a flavor for what it’s all about, then apps can help you learn. Just remember that there is a lot more to them than what you see from an app or two.
All that said, though, meditation apps aren’t for everyone. People who want to really dig deep into the practice aren’t going to get enough info from an app. People with a lot of questions about mindfulness may find the apps frustratingly limited.
Most importantly, although meditation and mindfulness can offer mental health benefits, they are definitely not a substitute for therapy. If you have depression, anxiety, or another mental health condition then it’s important to work with professionals and not rely on app to relieve symptoms.
If you want to find out more – we also offer mindful meditation at Well Clinic
Benefits of Mindfulness — HelpGuide.org
A Harvard Health article
It’s a busy world. You fold the laundry while keeping one eye on the kids and another on the television. You plan your day while listening to the radio and commuting to work, and then plan your weekend.
But in the rush to accomplish necessary tasks, you may find yourself losing your connection with the present moment—missing out on what you’re doing and how you’re feeling.
Did you notice whether you felt well-rested this morning or that forsythia is in bloom along your route to work?
Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment—and accepting it without judgment. Mindfulness is now being examined scientifically and has been found to be a key element in stress reduction and overall happiness.
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
The cultivation of mindfulness has roots in Buddhism, but most religions include some type of prayer or meditation technique that helps shift your thoughts away from your usual preoccupations toward an appreciation of the moment and a larger perspective on life.
Professor emeritus Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder and former director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, helped to bring the practice of mindfulness meditation into mainstream medicine and demonstrated that practicing mindfulness can bring improvements in both physical and psychological symptoms as well as positive changes in health, attitudes, and behaviors.
Mindfulness improves well-being. Increasing your capacity for mindfulness supports many attitudes that contribute to a satisfied life.
Being mindful makes it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, helps you become fully engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events.
By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness find that they are less ly to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past, are less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others.
Mindfulness improves physical health. If greater well-being isn’t enough of an incentive, scientists have discovered that mindfulness techniques help improve physical health in a number of ways. Mindfulness can: help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, , improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties.
Mindfulness improves mental health. In recent years, psychotherapists have turned to mindfulness meditation as an important element in the treatment of a number of problems, including: depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, couples’ conflicts, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
There is more than one way to practice mindfulness, but the goal of any mindfulness technique is to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation by deliberately paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment. This allows the mind to refocus on the present moment. All mindfulness techniques are a form of meditation.
Basic mindfulness meditation – Sit quietly and focus on your natural breathing or on a word or “mantra” that you repeat silently. Allow thoughts to come and go without judgment and return to your focus on breath or mantra.
Body sensations – Notice subtle body sensations such as an itch or tingling without judgment and let them pass. Notice each part of your body in succession from head to toe.
Sensory – Notice sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches. Name them “sight,” “sound,” “smell,” “taste,” or “touch” without judgment and let them go.
Emotions – Allow emotions to be present without judgment. Practice a steady and relaxed naming of emotions: “joy,” “anger,” “frustration.” Accept the presence of the emotions without judgment and let them go.
Urge surfing – Cope with cravings (for addictive substances or behaviors) and allow them to pass. Notice how your body feels as the craving enters. Replace the wish for the craving to go away with the certain knowledge that it will subside.
Mindfulness meditation and other practices
Mindfulness can be cultivated through mindfulness meditation, a systematic method of focusing your attention. You can learn to meditate on your own, following instructions in books or on tape.
However, you may benefit from the support of an instructor or group to answer questions and help you stay motivated. Look for someone using meditation in a way compatible with your beliefs and goals.
If you have a medical condition, you may prefer a medically oriented program that incorporates meditation. Ask your physician or hospital about local groups. Insurance companies increasingly cover the cost of meditation instruction.
Getting started on your own
Some types of meditation primarily involve concentration—repeating a phrase or focusing on the sensation of breathing, allowing the parade of thoughts that inevitably arise to come and go.
Concentration meditation techniques, as well as other activities such as tai chi or yoga, can induce the well-known relaxation response, which is very valuable in reducing the body’s response to stress.
Mindfulness meditation builds upon concentration practices. Here’s how it works:
Go with the flow. In mindfulness meditation, once you establish concentration, you observe the flow of inner thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations without judging them as good or bad.
Pay attention. You also notice external sensations such as sounds, sights, and touch that make up your moment-to-moment experience.
The challenge is not to latch onto a particular idea, emotion, or sensation, or to get caught in thinking about the past or the future.
Instead, you watch what comes and goes in your mind and discover which mental habits produce a feeling of well-being or suffering.
Stay with it. At times, this process may not seem relaxing at all, but over time it provides a key to greater happiness and self-awareness as you become comfortable with a wider and wider range of your experiences.
Above all, mindfulness practice involves accepting whatever arises in your awareness at each moment. It involves being kind and forgiving toward yourself.
Some tips to keep in mind:
Gently redirect. If your mind wanders into planning, daydreaming, or criticism, notice where it has gone and gently redirect it to sensations in the present.
Try and try again. If you miss your intended meditation session, simply start again.
By practicing accepting your experience during meditation, it becomes easier to accept whatever comes your way during the rest of your day.
If mindfulness meditation appeals to you, going to a class or listening to a meditation tape can be a good way to start. In the meantime, here are two mindfulness exercises you can try on your own.
Basic mindfulness meditation
This exercise teaches basic mindfulness meditation.
- Sit on a straight-backed chair or cross-legged on the floor.
- Focus on an aspect of your breathing, such as the sensations of air flowing into your nostrils and your mouth, or your belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale.
- Once you’ve narrowed your concentration in this way, begin to widen your focus. Become aware of sounds, sensations, and your ideas.
- Embrace and consider each thought or sensation without judging it good or bad. If your mind starts to race, return your focus to your breathing. Then expand your awareness again.
Learning to stay in the present
A less formal approach to mindfulness can also help you to stay in the present and fully participate in your life. You can choose any task or moment to practice informal mindfulness, whether you are eating, showering, walking, touching a partner, or playing with a child or grandchild. Attending to these points will help:
- Start by bringing your attention to the sensations in your body
- Breathe in through your nose, allowing the air downward into your lower belly. Let your abdomen expand fully.
- Now breathe out through your mouth
- Notice the sensations of each inhalation and exhalation
- Proceed with the task at hand slowly and with full deliberation
- Engage your senses fully. Notice each sight, touch, and sound so that you savor every sensation.
- When you notice that your mind has wandered from the task at hand, gently bring your attention back to the sensations of the moment.
Why Mindfulness Isn’t for Everyone
I’d argue that mindfulness is one of the biggest health trends of our time. It promises less stress, more inner peace, and a solid dose of self-awareness. It’s also a multi-billion-dollar industry, from apps that dole out guided meditations to full-on retreats in tropical locales.
But before you download the paid version of Headspace or investigate roundtrip fares to Bali, ask yourself this important question: Am I ready to stop operating on autopilot, repeating the same less-than-healthy patterns over and over again?
I’ll let you ponder one that for a minute.
What Is Mindfulness, Anyway?
Mindfulness is a 2,500-year-old practice. It’s the ability to be fully present, where you’re totally tuned into what’s happening, what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it — in the moment and without judgement.
A lot of my health coaching clients are convinced they’re being mindful when it comes to their eating habits, yet somehow, manage to polish off a bottle of wine or wheel of cheese without realizing it. Now, I’m all for hedonistic behaviour, but if your choices leave you full of regret, shame, and guilt, it’s probably worthwhile to pursue a different strategy.
Mindfulness isn’t for the faint of heart. It also isn’t great for perfectionists (if you’re determined to “get it right”), those with limited patience, or anyone looking for a temporary fix. Or if you don’t believe change is possible.
The Problem with Mindfulness
Contrary to most things in our instant gratification world, you probably won’t get results right away. Which is why mindfulness isn’t a great fit for everyone. In fact, one study showed that it can actually make stress worse, although it’s not clear if the outcome was related to the participants’ mindset, their mode of mindfulness, or a combo of both.1
Another struggle that comes up with a mindfulness practice is that it can be uncomfortable to take a good hard look in the mirror.
When you embark on a mindfulness journey — and stick with it — you will reprogram your thoughts and actions.
Assuming you want to, you’ll begin to recognize your self-sabotaging behaviours and establish different habits. Heck, you might even start to yourself more.
In this study, researchers from the University of Utah recruited 1089 undergrads, ranging in age from 18 to 53, to complete questionnaires about different traits:2
- Mindfulness (their tendency to be aware of their thoughts and feelings, and to respond in a non-reactive, non-judgmental way)
- Well-being (how much they felt a sense of self-acceptance, autonomy, and control over their environment)
- Clarity of self (how stable, clear, and unconflicted their views about themselves were)
Researchers found that the more mindful students also reported experiencing more well-being.
Diving deeper, they also discovered that certain aspects of mindfulness were more impactful than others, specifically, students who were non-judgmental about their thoughts and feelings had a clearer and stronger sense of self.
One researcher adding, “If we don’t expect to beat ourselves up for our flaws, we may be more willing to take a clear look in the mirror.”
So, Who Is Mindfulness For?
Obviously, there are benefits to embracing mindfulness, from having more self-compassion to changing your relationship with food. But is it right for you? It might be, if you fall into one of these categories:
- You struggle with chronic stress, anxiety, or depression
- You have trouble focusing on single tasks
- You feel overwhelmed or control
- You’re worried something is wrong with you
- You have a hard time putting yourself first
- You eat boredom or for emotional reasons
- You self-sabotage
- You tend to look at the negatives side of things
- Your relationship with yourself or others isn’t what you’d it to be
- You’re ready to stop going through life on autopilot
Make Mindfulness Work for You
If beating yourself up, or feeling guilt, shame, or other useless emotions hasn’t worked for you in the past, perhaps you’re open to trying something different. Perhaps you’d be keen on doing something that didn’t require forcing, white-knuckling, or falling off a wagon.
It’s one thing to decide to be more mindful, but it’s something entirely different to know how to do it. And that’s the secret sauce the separates the folks who start to move the needle on their thought patterns (and health goals) from those who struggle to get started.
Take the pressure off
Most people think being mindful means they’ve got to commit to an hour-long daily meditation practice with ornate pillows, dimmed lights, and chanting voices. Setting unrealistic expectations will only make you feel worse. Instead, start with something that feels easy that you can do anytime and anywhere.
Try this: Your brain craves periods of stillness, so step away from your phone, TV, computer, and yes, family members, and sit quietly, taking a much-needed pause from the constant flood of info coming at you.
For 30 seconds, do nothing except for being still and breathing. Can’t sit still the whole 30 seconds? Totally normal.
Do the best you can, and, this is key, don’t judge yourself for what you can or can’t currently do.
Notice your breathing
Is it shallow and fast or deep and calm? Your breathing affects your mind, so if you’re someone who’s constantly overthinking, worrying, anticipating, or stressing, I’d recommend reviewing your breathing patterns. This study from the Journal of Neurophysiology shows how deliberate breathing activates different parts of the brain associated with emotion, attention, and awareness.3
Try this: Consciously inhale and exhale to a set rhythm. I personally love “triangular breathing,” a variation of box breathing, where I inhale for six seconds, hold for two seconds, and exhale for eight seconds.
It doesn’t have to be that complex either, just slow down your breathing, making your exhales longer than your inhales.
Not only can this make you feel calmer and more focused, it has the power to regulate your nervous system and allow you to be still in the present moment, aka mindfulness.
Be aware of judgements
Consciously or not, you’re constantly judging yourself and others. Dozens of times per day, you’re evaluating your decisions, appearance, and self-worth, replaying scenarios and conversations, and trying to mentally strongarm outcomes that are your control.
It gets exhausting. On a subconscious level, judgements are how you protect yourself, and you know how much your brain s to keep you safe.
You don’t have to be thrilled with every thought or emotion, but it’s worth your while to a create safe place for them to live — even for 30 seconds.
Try this: This is the time to notice, not to fixate and freak out. It’s an opportunity to sit with uncomfortable emotions and give yourself room to feel them in the moment. So, practice observing your thoughts without reacting to them. The more you practice embracing all the parts of you (the good and the painful), the easier mindfulness will become.
Thanks to the pandemic, we got fairly used to staying indoors, working too much, perfecting our sourdough and banana bread recipes, and completely neglecting the great outdoors.
But there’s something so freaking magical about the great outdoors. The grass, the trees, the dirt, and of course, the fresh air.
Being surrounded by nature has some pretty powerful benefits too, including reducing muscle tension and blood pressure, decreasing cortisol, and boosting endorphins.4
Try this: Take a walk in the woods, move your yoga practice to the backyard, or just stand in the grass barefoot and notice the sights, sounds, and smells.
Connecting with nature allows you to slow down and be more present, which is what mindfulness is all about.
Can’t get outside? Evidence suggests even just looking at photos of natural landscapes can have similar benefits.5
Mindfulness: Health Trend or Key to Happiness?
Wouldn’t it be nice to feel less stressed and less critical, rather than racing through each day overwhelmed, overworked, and believing you’ll be happy if you could just get to the other side of your challenge du jour? Listen, mindfulness isn’t for everyone. But if you’re ready to flip the script on your current mindset (and I think you are), use these tips to get started:
- Sit in silence for 30 seconds, away from your phone, computer, or TV
- Slow your breathing, being conscious of your inhales and exhales
- Practice observing your thoughts without reacting to them
- Notice the sights, sounds, and smells of the great outdoors
What do you think? Does mindfulness work for you?
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