Mindfulness exercises: How to get started

Looking to start living in the moment? Find out how to use mindfulness exercises to develop a greater awareness of the world around you. By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you've heard of or read about mindfulness — a form of meditation — you might be curious about how to practice it. Find out how to do mindfulness exercises and how they might benefit you.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the act of being intensely aware of what you're sensing and feeling at every moment — without interpretation or judgment.

Spending too much time planning, problem-solving, daydreaming, or thinking negative or random thoughts can be draining. It can also make you more likely to experience stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression. Practicing mindfulness exercises, on the other hand, can help you direct your attention away from this kind of thinking and engage with the world around you.

What are the benefits of mindfulness exercises?

Practicing mindfulness exercises can have many possible benefits, including:

  • Reduced stress, anxiety and depression
  • Less negative thinking and distraction
  • Improved mood
Sep. 19, 2012 See more In-depth