Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation allows us to tune into the present moment and observe our thoughts and emotions from an objective viewpoint, providing an effective means of managing stress and anxiety.

Sit comfortably on either the floor or chair with feet flat on the ground and hands in your lap. Take deep breaths while becoming aware of your body sensations.

What Is It?

Mindfulness meditation is the practice of paying intentional, undivided attention to one thing at a time without judgment in order to calm and reduce stress levels. This form of meditation can be practiced anywhere, there is no special equipment or training needed.

Mindfulness meditation involves sitting quietly and focusing your attention on breathing or repeating silently a word or mantra that brings your attention back into focus whenever your thoughts wander off track. For best results, begin slowly and work up to at least two 20-minute sessions daily.

At meditation, your body should be relaxed and comfortable. Thoughts may wander, but try not to judge or push away these stray thoughts.  Let any negative ones pass without judgment before returning your focus back onto breathing or mantra repetitions. Some may find it helpful to silently label thoughts such as: “Here’s fear of failure” or “This is anxiety.”

Practice mindfulness by becoming aware of your surroundings and sensations, whether walking, sitting down, or lying down. Explore different approaches until you find the one that resonates most strongly with you.

Mindfulness meditation may improve both physical and mental wellbeing. It can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, relieve chronic pain and enhance sleep quality. 


Mindfulness meditation involves drawing our focus back to the present moment repeatedly without judgment or criticism; be it during formal sessions of meditation, or daily activities like walking and cooking. Mindful awareness involves gently coming back into focus without judgment or criticism for all activities you are engaged in.

Mindfulness meditation comes in various forms, so finding one that suits you personally is key. Some techniques to try include focusing on breathing, sensing sensations in the body, and thinking about how you interact with others. Make time to practice every day even for just five or ten minutes at first.  Simply increase the time as you become more comfortable with the process.

As you begin your meditation practice, it may take several moments for your thoughts and emotions to settle down. This is normal, particularly if it is your first time meditating. Try not to judge yourself for wandering thoughts or emotional reactions that arise while meditating.  Simply acknowledge when your mind wanders off topic before returning it back to breathing again.

Be mindful of your surroundings and keep any unnecessary distractions at bay while practicing meditation. To do this, it is recommended that you find a quiet spot in a peaceful environment without loud noises or conversations that might distract from meditation. Once comfortable in a seat, concentrate on breathing. Slowly inhale and exhale, taking notice if there are irregularities in breathing patterns as you slowly inhale and exhale.  You should also focus on heavy or light sensations, as well as places that feel more intense or less intense than usual during practice if necessary.

Having difficulty staying focused? A mantra or repetitive phrase can help keep the focus on breathing.  Just make sure not to make your mantra too long or it may become annoying and interfere with meditation. With practice comes increased ability to remain centered for extended periods.


Mindfulness meditation is a way of training your attention so you can observe and accept thoughts and emotions as they arise without judgment.  This helps you gain perspective on problems without trying to fix them, while simultaneously creating a more grounded sense of self. Meditation may also assist with depression, mood disorders, anxiety, stress, chronic pain, and eating disorders.

Jon Kabat-Zinn pioneered mindfulness research with his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, and it has since been extensively researched, showing its positive benefits on depression, anxiety, pain and chronic health conditions such as heart disease. Mindfulness can also enhance other treatment approaches like Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Mindful practice extends beyond formal meditation to daily tasks like eating, showering and walking. You can bring awareness into the present moment simply by focusing on breathing deeply, paying attention to what your hands and feet are doing, or noting any sensations in your body during movement.

Mindfulness meditation can be difficult at first, as your busy mind may try to take over. But there are techniques available such as counting your breaths, or listening to their sound.  You will not receive any benefit if you never start the practice.  Begin the process, even if you encounter distractions.

Other techniques to try include body scanning, where you pay attention to every inch of your body from head to toe.  Another is mindful eating, which requires you to slow down and truly taste each mouthful of food you take in. 


Mindfulness meditation can be an extremely effective tool in managing chronic pain, anxiety and stress. Furthermore, mindfulness can improve relationships, boost creativity and promote physical health and well-being. However, it’s important to remember that it shouldn’t replace medical treatments.  Do not be afraid to get professional health for mental or physical problems.

Mindfulness may be effective for treating depression, PTSD, OCD and drug addiction. Studies have demonstrated how mindfulness helps reduce symptoms by helping individuals become more aware of their thoughts and emotions, while accepting them without judgment. Regular practice of mindfulness may even alter brain chemistry to make you more resilient against negative emotions.

Jon Kabat-Zinn’s work with MBSR brought mindfulness into mainstream medicine, and demonstrated its benefits on physical and psychological well-being. Studies have even indicated its usefulness as an approach for managing pain. Some doctors now recommend it to their patients. 

Mindfulness should not be confused with meditation. Meditation involves employing specific techniques to relax both body and mind, providing an avenue for self-reflection that may aid with dealing with difficult feelings.  However, it should not be seen as an instant cure-all solution to stress and other psychological conditions.  Realistically, using mindfulness as a coping strategy during stressful moments may not always be effective.

Mindfulness entails becoming fully awake to each present moment and mindfully aware of your thoughts, emotions and sensations in your body. It provides a nonjudgmental way of becoming more aware of painful experiences, while learning how to let them go and focus on positive aspects of life instead. Mindfulness has even been shown to increase creative abilities, though the exact mechanisms remain unknown.

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