What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing your awareness to the present moment while allowing thoughts or feelings about the past or future to gently slip away. The goal is simply to be present and to notice, without judgement, what you are experiencing in the moment, both physically and emotionally. Mindfulness is a tool that can be used in nearly any setting, with any population, really under any circumstances. Techniques and interventions are used in many ways to help with stress reduction, decrease feelings of distress, and enhance management of difficult thoughts and emotions.

How can you use Mindfulness in your daily life?

  • Because of the versatility of mindfulness techniques, there are a number of ways one can use this practice in therapy and beyond in their daily lives.
  • Techniques you might see are things like:
    • Mindful eating: Eating while encouraging yourself to remain fully present and keeping your awareness focused on the food and drink you are putting into your body. Observing and noticing how the food makes you feel; what is your body telling you as you eat it? How does it taste? What is the texture like? Notice the signals your body is sending you in regard to satisfaction and fullness.
    • 5-4-3-2-1 method: Is used to bring your attention to the present moment using each of your 5 senses à slowing your breathing while noticing 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.
    • Active listening: Paying special attention to the person, place, or thing you are listening to. Notice little details that perhaps you may pass over when you are not fully present in the moment.
    • Box breathing: A technique used to slow your breathing and calm your nervous system. Help relieve stress, anxiety, and anger.
    • Mindful Coloring: Focusing on each decision we make while coloring, how we choose each color for the design, the sound of the pencil, crayon, or marker on the paper, etc. bringing our conscious attention to the present moment
    • Meditation
    • Yoga
    • Observation of surroundings