Mindfulness is paying full attention to what is going on in the present moment. It is a simple concept, but it is not always easy. Mindfulness may seem overwhelming and even a little bit “out there,” but it is okay to start small. Try adding mindful moments while completing mundane tasks in your life. Focus on being present while brushing your teeth, sitting in traffic, typing an email, or waiting in line. Pay close attention to the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feels of these everyday activities. Small, consistent acts of mindfulness add up to support a healthier, calmer brain.

  • Mindful Breathing: Take some deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose to a count of four, hold for one second, and then exhale through the mouth to a count of five. Repeat often.
  • Mindful Walking: Enjoy a stroll. As you walk, notice your breath and the sights and sounds around you. As thoughts and worries enter your mind, note them but then return to the present.
  • Mindful Eating: Sit and savor your food. Be aware of taste, textures, and flavors in each bite, and listen to your body when you are hungry and full.

Learn more about mindful breathing and practice mindfulness with this guided exercise.

SOURCES: https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2012/01/mindfulness-matters; https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/mindful_breathin