Mindfulness is a stress management technique that involves focusing your attention on what you are experiencing moment to moment. You do not allow your mind to become fragmented with thoughts of the past and worries about the future; instead you remain fully alert in the experiences of the present moment.
Mindfulness meditation or practice can help you:
- elicit the relaxation response
- focus your concentration for thinking and doing tasks effectively
- help you gain a deeper appreciation of your life experiences
You can use mindfulness techniques when sitting quietly or when engaged in activities.
Following your breath is the primary technique of mindfulness. Gently coming back to your breath--wherever you feel your breath--helps anchor you in the present moment. (You may feel your breath as the air passes into and out of your nostrils, or in your chest, or in the in-and-out movement of your belly, or perhaps you feel the entire passage of air throughout the cycle of the inhalation and exhalation of breath.)
When rooted in the present moment with the help of attending to your breath, you can also be aware of the sensations in your body, your emotions, your thoughts, and your actions. Using mindfulness practice, you slow down in a sense and give full attention without judgment to the emotions, thoughts, actions and/or body sensations you are experiencing in the present moment. You do one activity at a time and give full awareness to your present moment experience.
Some mindfulness strategies: