Mindfulness is a type of relaxation and stress management technique that could help improve your psychological wellbeing.1 It is the ability to be fully present, aware of where you are and what you are doing, and not being overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around you.2

Mindfulness is all about getting your senses involved. Whenever you bring awareness to what you’re directly experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, you are being mindful.2 It can be as simple as focusing on your breathing, sitting down and focusing your attention on the feeling of your feet touching the floor or focusing on what you can smell or taste in the present moment.3

5 ways to incorporate mindfulness into your day2

How can mindfulness help me?

Mindfulness could help you:1,4

  • Lower stress levels and feelings of worry, fear and anger
  • Improve mental clarity and memory
  • Focus attention and supress distracting information
  • Be more satisfied in personal relationships

How does mindfulness work?

Mindfulness has been shown to help quieten activity in the part of the brain responsible for assessing your emotional response to your environment, called the amygdala. Mindfulness, such as focused breathing and controlled movements, can help quieten the response from your amygdala, while strengthening the connection between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex (which has a role in how you act in certain situations). These neurological changes can help you to be less reactive to stress and other negative thoughts, and could help you cope better when you do experience stress.1

Meditation

Meditation is a form of mindfulness that you may already be familiar with. Meditation is mainly around focusing on breathing and using it as an anchor to the present moment. Below are steps to help you get the most out of meditation:2