UC Irvine Expert gives advice on mindfulness

Photo courtesy UC Irvine

Why mindfulness is important …
If we are not taught to pay attention, our mind and thoughts take control – and our thoughts are not always in this present moment. All you have to do is check in with yourself and see what to think about.

To be in the moment …
One way to get back to the moment is through our senses. You can start seeing. Look around the room you are in, but look at it like this is your first time seeing it without judgment. Bring your attention to your hearing and you may notice some noise or the silence. Then you can turn your attention to your body; Wherever you sit, you may notice the points of contact your body makes with your seat. The last thing is to call attention to the breath.

Benefits of mindfulness …
There is research showing it helps fight depression and anxiety, and there are changes in our bodies when we practice this – decreased cortisol levels and an increased immune response to vaccinations. Even 10 minutes a day can help. It doesn’t have to be like an hour-long training class.

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