Mindfulness is about bringing your attention and focus to the present moment. Through mindfulness, we calmly acknowledge thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations without judgment, according to CentraState behavioral health specialist Amy Metzger, MSW, LCSW, CTTS. It’s hitting the pause button and allowing yourself to be completely present to engage all five senses—with benefits ranging from a stronger immune system to a lower risk for anxiety and depression.
While traditional mindfulness practices include yoga and meditation, you can practice everyday mindfulness by focusing on activities like sipping fragrant coffee, taking a mindful walk, or playing with children or pets.
Mindful Breathing Exercise
Breathing happens automatically, but we can co-create it for mindful breathing. Get comfortable and give the following exercise a try.
- Place hands together in prayer position, fingers touching and palms touching.
- Inhale while clasping hands together, and then exhale with palms together.
- On the next inhale, clasp hands with fingers intertwined the other way.
- Repeat entire sequence for several minutes.
Notice the sound of your breath and find the breath rhythm that feels right to you. Try counting to five as you inhale deeply through your nose, and counting to five while exhaling through your mouth.
Learn more about Behavioral Health Services at CentraState at centrastate.com/behavioralhealth or 866-CENTRA7 (866-236-8727).
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