Women standing in forest, hands over heart, eyes closed, meditating

From Sharp Health News, a publication of Sharp HealthCare

Mindfulness is about being in control of your mind, rather than your mind being in control of you. It is the ability to be fully present as we go through our daily activities and during profound or challenging experiences — a skill proven to be very useful during trying times.

There are several ways to practice mindfulness. The key is increasing your awareness of both your mind and body, and what is going on in both. Try these three mindfulness activities to get started:

1. Breathing activity

  • Standing tall or sitting somewhere quiet and comfortable, focus on your breathing.
  • Breathing in completely, notice and follow the sensations of your breath coming in.
  • Keeping your attention at the center of your body, exhale, breathing normally and maintaining attention.

2. Sensory activity

  • Lie on the grass, look up at the sky and watch the clouds roll by.
  • Feel the grass with your fingers and the air on your skin and the firm ground supporting your whole body.
  • Listen to the sounds of the birds, wind blowing through the trees and other activity around you.

3. Physical activity

  • Take a mindful walk, walking without any purpose or intention other than the walk itself.
  • Practice noticing each step and breath you take.
  • Keep your steps slow, relaxed and calm and try not to allow your thoughts to drift throughout your stroll.

Remember, it’s not about doing it perfectly – it’s about practicing. The more you practice mindfulness, the greater the benefits you’ll see.

The VEBA Resource Center offers Midday Mindfulness Refresh Classes, allowing you to explore mindfulness of the body, breath, emotions and heart to improve your overall quality of life and sense of well-being. Check out our calendar to sign up for an upcoming class.