What is Mindfulness? Benefits and How to Practice Mindfulness

Last updated: Mar 20, 2023

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a psychobiological state that can be characterized by nonjudgmental awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations inf the present moment. 

It involves actively noticing, accepting and being aware of our thoughts and feelings, both positive and negative. 

  • It involves conscious awareness, paying attention to what’s happening around us without judgment or reacting impulsively.
  • It is about finding acceptance, focusing on your breath and the moment, and releasing any thoughts or worries that arise.
  • The focus of mindfulness is to bring awareness to your own thoughts and feelings while fostering self-compassion.
  • The goal of mindfulness is to be aware of our thoughts and emotions without letting them control us 

Mindfulness encourages being focused on the here-and-now, rather than dwelling on past experiences or worries about the future. 

The practice of mindfulness helps us gain increased insight into our lives and our inner world, allowing us to manage stress and anxiety more effectively. 

Mindfulness has been shown to improve physical and psychological health, reduce rumination, increase resilience and improve relationships.

By practicing mindfulness, we can cultivate greater levels of presence, peace and joy in everyday life.

What are the benefits of mindfulness?

Mindfulness can help reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues by allowing you to take control over your thoughts and reactions. 

The practice can also improve concentration, memory, and empathy.

It helps us to become fully aware of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions and to recognize how they affect our lives.

By being mindful, we can learn to make conscious decisions instead of automatically reacting to situations. 

It strengthens our emotional intelligence, helping us to better understand our own needs and those of others. 

Mindfulness teaches us to live in the present and accept things as they are, helping us to be more content overall.

By being mindful we can better recognize our thoughts and feelings and identify patterns that may be holding us back

It helps us gain clarity, releasing ourselves from preoccupying worries and opening up possibilities for more meaningful connections

Mindfulness allows us to appreciate life more deeply by fostering greater appreciation, gratitude and joy

It provides an opportunity to slow down and allow yourself time to truly connect with what is inside you.

Practicing mindfulness

Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere at any time, and it doesn’t require any special tools or supplies.

It can be done while sitting, standing, walking, or even lying down. 

It’s worth taking some time each day to dedicate to mindfulness, as it can provide many benefits for our mental and emotional well-being.

  • Start your mindfulness practice by carving out a few moments each day to simply observe your breath and meditate.
  • Take some time each day to notice the sounds around you. Listen for birds singing, cars driving by, or children laughing at play.

A few simple activities to help cultivate mindfulness include: taking a mindful walk, observing your breath, journaling, or listening to music

  • Spend some time outdoors in nature and observe your environment with a mindful eye
  • Try walking meditation – take a slow walk with awareness of your breath, body, and environment. 
  • While walking, taking note of how the sunlight feels on your skin or observing the different shades of green in the leaves of trees. 

Try a guided meditation or body scan to bring focused attention to each part of your body as a form of mindfulness exercise  

Focus on being aware of your thoughts without attaching to them; this brings you into the present moment 

Give yourself time to practice mindfulness; notice how your body and mind feel after engaging in a mindful activity 

Practice deep breathing, which can help reduce stress and promote relaxation 

  • Practice mindful breathing exercises throughout the day, paying attention to each inhale and exhale.

Listen deeply to yourself and others when you're engaging in conversation 

  • Learning to listen actively is a great way to practice mindfulness – give your undivided attention to the person speaking to you. 

When working on a task, stay present in the moment by focusing on the task at hand instead of worrying about the future or ruminating over the past

  • Find joy in everyday activities like washing dishes or folding laundry, by focusing on the sensations they bring.

Engage in yoga or other mindful movement practices such as tai chi or qi gong

Try meditating for a few minutes each day, focusing on the breath and letting go of any judgment

Take the time to practice gratitude each day, noticing the small things that bring joy to your life

Eat slowly and mindfully – pay attention to what you eat and really savor the flavor. 

  • You can make mindful eating a part of your mindfulness routine by focusing on the taste, smell, and texture of each bite of food.

Write down your thoughts and feelings in a gratitude journal each night – appreciate the positive things in your life.

  • Express gratitude for what you have before going to sleep each night, identifying one thing that went right that day.
  • Writing in a journal can be a way for you to reflect on your experiences and emotions without getting overwhelmed 

Taking a break from technology can help you become more mindful and connected to yourself 

Spending quality time with loved ones can be a form of mindfulness, as it helps us to be in the moment and appreciate their presence

What is the difference between mindfulness and meditation?

Mindfulness and meditation are two distinct practices that share some similarities. 

Mindfulness is the practice of living in the present moment and focusing on one's thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment. 

  • Mindfulness does not always require stillness or silence; it can also be practiced through mindful movement and sound awareness.
  • Mindfulness can help us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that we can better manage our emotions and relationships. 

Meditation is an ancient practice that focuses on clearing the mind of distractions to achieve a sense of inner peace.

  • Meditation refers to a specific type of mindfulness practice that involves focusing on one's breath, body, or other objects of attention.
  • Meditation involves intentionally choosing a specific focus of attention, such as the breath, and returning to it when the mind strays. 
  • Mindfulness can be applied to all areas of life, while meditation is often used as a way to calm the mind and reduce stress levels.
  • Meditation encourages a more inward journey, focusing on the subtle body and transcendental experiences. 
  • Meditation can help reduce stress and improve concentration, which can lead to improved performance in any number of areas such as work, school, sports, and creative endeavors. 

Mindfulness is more active and requires more concentration than meditation. 

Meditation involves maintaining stillness while focusing on breathing or a specific mantra. 

Both mindfulness and meditation can help reduce stress, increase clarity of thought, and improve overall wellbeing. They also produce positive results such as improved focus, enhanced wellbeing and an increased sense of inner peace. 

The difference between these two practices lies in the approach: mindfulness helps us become aware of our thoughts and emotions, while meditation seeks to cultivate acceptance and equanimity.

How can I use mindfulness to reduce anxiety and stress?

By focusing on breathing and being aware of our thoughts, we can step back from our worries and feelings of stress

  • Focusing on the present moment helps to keep anxious thoughts in check 
  • Connecting with your breath is an easy way to get started with mindfulness 
  • Mindful breathing is an excellent way to ground oneself in the present moment and also induce relaxation.

Mindfulness helps us to recognize our emotional triggers, allowing us to gain better control over them.

  • Mindfulness can help you identify and challenge unhealthy thought patterns 
  • Mindfulness can help us to become aware of our thoughts and feelings so that we can respond in a more positive way.
  • When we practice mindfulness, we can learn to recognize signs of stress and anxiety as they arise

Mindfulness also teaches us to be compassionate towards ourselves and accept negative thoughts without judgement.

Regular mindfulness practice can help us stay calmer, more focused and resilient in times of difficulty.

Maintaining gratitude practices can help shift your energy from negative thoughts to positive ones 

Observing our thoughts and feelings without judgment, allowes us to get some perspective on them.

Mindfulness can be a powerful tool for managing emotional reactions to stress and building resilience against future challenges.

Simply taking a few moments each day to become mindful can lead to long-term benefits 

How does mindfulness help with decision making?

Practicing mindfulness allows us to be present and aware of our thoughts and feelings, which can lead to more meaningful and informed decision making.  

Being mindful also helps us break free from mental traps like overthinking or impulsiveness, freeing us up to truly ponder our options and make conscious choices. 

  • Mindfulness allows us to step back from our pre-conceived ideas and look objectively at a situation from multiple angles. 

The practice of mindful decision making teaches us to trust our intuition, acknowledge our emotions and choose based on how we feel, rather than rushing into a decision without taking the time to reflect. 

  • Through mindfulness, we learn to trust our intuition and judgment, enabling us to make choices that are aligned with our values. 

By carefully considering all the pros and cons of a situation and being aware of how it will affect us in the longterm, we can be confident that we've made the right decision. 

Mindful decision making empowers us to take control of our lives instead of letting our decisions be dictated by stress and anxiety. 

  • By staying mindful of our motivations and reasoning, we also gain greater clarity in times of uncertainty.

What are synonyms for mindfulness?


















What words are related to mindfulness?

Inner Peace





Stress Relief



Being Present





Mindful Living



Stress Management

Relaxation Techniques

Cognitive Restructuring

Positive Thinking

Spiritual Growth


Mindful Eating

Mindfulness Practices

Mindful Breathing 





Inner Peace 

Intentional Thinking