What is Mindfulness?
- Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Types of Mindfulness
- Seated, walking, standing, and moving
- Short pauses in everyday life
- Merging meditation practice with other activities, such as yoga or sports
Benefits of Mindfulness Practice
When we are mindful, we reduce stress, enhance performance, gain insight, and awareness through observing our own mind, and increase our attention to others' well-being
Mindfulness meditation give us a time in our lives when we can suspend judgement and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness - to ourselves and others
How to Sit for Meditation Practice
- Take your seat. Whatever you’re sitting on—a chair, a meditation cushion, a park bench—find a spot that gives you a stable, solid seat, not perching or hanging back.
- Notice what your legs are doing. If on a cushion on the floor, cross your legs comfortably in front of you. (If you already do some kind of seated yoga posture, go ahead.) If on a chair, it’s good if the bottoms of your feet are touching the floor.
- Straighten—but don’t stiffen— your upper body. The spine has natural curvature. Let it be there. Your head and shoulders can comfortably rest on top of your vertebrae.
- Situate your upper arms parallel to your upper body. Then let your hands drop onto the tops of your legs. With your upper arms at your sides, your hands will land in the right spot. Too far forward will make you hunch. Too far back will make you stiff. You’re tuning the strings of your body—not too tight and not too loose.
- Drop your chin a little and let your gaze fall gently downward. You may let your eyelids lower. If you feel the need, you may lower them completely, but it’s not necessary to close your eyes when meditating. You can simply let what appears before your eyes be there without focusing on it.
- Be there for a few moments. Relax. Now get up and go about your day. And if the next thing on the agenda is doing some mindfulness practice by paying attention to your breath or the sensations in your body, you’ve started off on the right foot—and hands and arms and everything else.
- Begin again. When your posture is established, feel your breath—or some say “follow” it—as it goes out and as it goes in. (Some versions of the practice put more emphasis on the outbreath, and for the inbreath you simply leave a spacious pause.) Inevitably, your attention will leave the breath and wander to other places. When you get around to noticing this—in a few seconds, a minute, five minutes—return your attention to the breath. Don’t bother judging yourself or obsessing over the content of the thoughts. Come back. You go away, you come back.
- That’s it. That’s the practice. It’s often been said that it’s very simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. The work is to just keep doing it. Results will accrue.
- MyLife App*
- Calm App
- UCLA Mindful App
- Healthy Minds Program App
- Virtual Mindfulness Room
*WESD employees get the premium version of these apps for free!
- 1 Minute Meditation | Calm Your Mind
- 1 Minute Meditation | Letting Go of Stress
- 1 Minute Meditation | Changing Perspective
- 5 Minute Meditation | Mindful Breathing
- 5 Minute Meditation | Long Deep Breaths
- 10 Minute Mindfulness Meditation | Reframe Stressful Situations
- 10 Minute Mindfulness Meditation | Reset: Decompress Your Body & Mind
- 10 Minute Mindfulness Meditation | Be Calm
- 10 Minute Mindfulness Meditation | Self Soothing
- 10 Minute Mindfulness Meditation | Letting Go
- 10 Minute Mindfulness Meditation | Impermenance
- 10 Minute Mindfulness Meditation | Forgetting Time
- 10 Minute Mindfulness Meditation | Present
- 10 Minute Mindfulness Meditation | Symphony
- 10 Minute Mindfulness Meditation | Anxiety
- 10 Minute Mindfulness Meditation | Stress