Wellness update: What is mindfulness?

Does mindfulness mean I have to sit cross-legged and hold still?

(Photo courtesy of UVU Wellness Programs)

What comes to mind when you hear the word mindfulness? Mindfulness has a way of seeming complicated, but it’s not. Mindfulness is just paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. It’s the continuous awareness of our bodies, emotions and thoughts. Mindfulness helps us to come back to the here and now, to be aware of what is going on in the present moment, and to be in touch with the wonders of life. It’s bringing awareness to the fact that you exist in that moment.

Try mindfulness by going for a walk

As you walk, notice how your body feels. Pay attention to how your legs, feet and arms feel with each step you take. Feel the contact of your foot as it touches the ground, and the movement of your body as you move into your next step. If you become lost in thought as you continue to walk, use the next step as an opportunity to start over. Now using your sense of sight, look around and try to notice every detail. Using your sense of smell, notice any aromas or scents. Are you able to notice any tastes as you walk? Can you taste the air? Now using your sense of touch, notice the solidity of the earth beneath your feet. With openness and curiosity, notice any sensations, thoughts or feelings that arise, without lingering on anything in particular.

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