Stressful Times Call for Mindful Awareness
By: Kim Meeks, Wellness Director
Stressors are part of everyday life, but now it's compounded by the pandemic and social unrest. During these times, it’s important to be vigilant in practicing self-care. One of the easiest ways to do this is by practicing mindfulness. Most people think mindfulness is about setting aside time to meditate in a dedicated space with new age music or in silence, but mindfulness is much simpler to practice.
According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, MD, the founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness is “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” Mindfulness can be practiced anytime, anywhere. It can be done while you’re washing dishes, taking a walk, waiting in line, or sitting in traffic. It is being completely immersed in the present moment without ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. For example, if you’re drinking a cup of coffee, you can be aware of the smell of the coffee or how the cup feels in your hands.
Mindfulness can even be as simple as focusing on your breath. As a society, many of us are taught to look for the next great experience instead of focusing on the present moment without criticism or feeling the need to change “what is.” If we feel that a moment is “mundane” then we have to think of something “better.” By being in the present moment, we realize that there are no other moments and being aware of these “small” moments can help you lead a more fulfilling and richer life.
To learn more about mindfulness, download the
app. Access is free, and it is available for iOS and Android. The app offers an introduction to mindfulness, as well as guided meditations, and podcasts.