Mindfulness is the act of being fully present in the current moment. It is the ability to be aware of where you are and what you are doing without being overly reactive or overwhelmed by your surroundings. The practice of mindfulness is available to all yet may not always be easy unless we practice often.

Being aware of what you are experiencing through your senses or the state of your mind through your thoughts and emotions is the act of being mindful. Research shows that as you train your brain to be mindful, you are changing the structure of your brain.

There are many ways to practice mindfulness including meditation, body scans, and breathing exercises. When practicing mindfulness, the key is to set judgement aside, embrace yourself and others in acceptance, warmth, and kindness.

Here are some short mindfulness practices to try today:

  • Mindful breathing for one minute: Close your eyes and notice where you feel your breath. Focus on each breath, in and out. When you mind wanders, that’s okay, just bring your attention back to your breathing.
  • Positive aspirations meditation: For one minute, repeat “May I be happy, may I be well, and may I be filled with kindness and peace.”
  • Mindful eating: Chose a bit of food (piece of fruit, chocolate, etc.) and slow down, sense it, savor it, and smile between bites. Notice all your senses while eating.
  • Mindful listening: Close your eyes while outside or use headphones to listen to music. Try to stay neutral (no judgement) and listen to the sounds or music you hear. Try picking our different far away sounds outside or instruments within the song. Don’t think, just hear.

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