"Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose,
in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”
-Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.
You can practice mindfulness - non-judgmental, present awareness - anywhere and at anytime, whether it be when you brush your teeth or are having a sensitive conversation with your boss at work or a loved one at home. This gentle awareness helps you make conscious choices rather than automatic reactions to what is happening around you.
Scientific studies join with many centuries of experience to support the benefits of mindfulness for your health and well-being. These benefits include less stress and worry, better focus and concentration, improved general health, and less bias.
And you can cultivate mindfulness in a variety of ways:
Below are a few sample guided meditations:
Breath Awareness Meditation (10 min.)
Breath awareness meditation allows us to focus our attention on the present moment, being aware of the sensations of each breath and using the breath as an anchor when the mind wanders - which it will inevitably do. The practice helps us to better our concentration, activate the "rest and digest" response, and treat ourselves with greater kindness - gently returning our attention to the breath each time the mind strays.
Body Scan Meditation (15 min.)
Body scan meditations are a wonderful practice for reconnecting with our bodies, improving our ability to focus, and practicing the art of letting go as we move from one focus point to another. While it is a favorite of many experienced meditators, because the focus of attention moves throughout the meditation it is an especially good practice for those who are relatively new to meditation.
Loving-Kindness Meditation (17 min.)
Through loving-kindness meditations we can create a kinder relationship with ourselves and with others. This meditation involves phrases of well wishes for ourselves and for loved ones. Longer loving-kindness meditations often extend these well wishes more broadly.
Additional resources are listed below to help you get started on your own mindfulness exploration. More information will be added in the future so check back from time to time.
"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
- Viktor Frankl
A Few Favorite Resources on Mindfulness
Here are a few of my favorite resources on mindfulness to help you begin and maintain your own practice. Check in for updates and additional resources.
Wherever You Go, There You Are
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
Kristen Neff, Ph.D.
Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.
Online Mindfulness Sites
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"Stephanie's meditation sessions combine thoughtful discussions of a variety of mindfulness activities with a guided meditation that uses that day's approach. I both enjoy these sessions and learn more about ways I can address stress in my life.
Her patience with, and support of, our efforts to create a practice reinforces the importance of being kind to ourselves. I find these sessions an oasis of claim in an otherwise stressful world. Thank you, Stephanie!" Sherry
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