Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings and thoughts without judgment. Mindfulness has been shown to be effective for improving sleep quality, increasing self-awareness, helping with anxiety, and coping more effectively with stress. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.
Though the concept of mindfulness is simple, becoming a more mindful person requires commitment. It is a skill that takes time and practice to experience the benefits. Here are some simple steps to help get you started with integrating mindfulness into your daily life.
- Take some deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose to a count of 4, hold for 1 second and then exhale through the mouth to a count of 5. Repeat often.
- Enjoy a stroll. As you walk, notice your breath and the sights and sounds around you. As thoughts and worries enter your mind, note them but then return to the present.
- Practice mindful eating. Be aware of taste, textures and flavors in each bite and listen to your body when you are hungry and full.
- Find mindfulness resources virtually or in your local community. Look for mindfulness-based programs such as virtual yoga or meditation classes.
Your Employee Assistance Program Can Help
If you find it difficult to relax and calm your mind, your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has resources available to help. Your EAP provides free and confidential counseling to help you cope with and manage feelings of stress and anxiety. Help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information, contact your Component EAP, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.