Mindfulness is paying attention in three particular ways: on purpose, in the moment and without judgment. You can practice mindfulness of breathing, eating, bodily sensations (body scan), thoughts, emotions, communication (listening and speaking) and walking or other activities (such as yoga or tai chi). With more practice, you can become more mindful throughout the day, not just during formal practice periods.

Mindful practices can reduce symptoms related to anxiety, chronic pain, depression, insomnia and stress. They also can improve attention and memory and decrease inflammatory biomarkers, such as cytokines. Imaging studies have shown that mindfulness practices can actually change the brain to increase the size and activity of areas associated with executive function, thereby increasing clarity, cognitive function and effectiveness. Mindful clinicians tend to elicit greater patient satisfaction and adherence.

Ohio State Integrative Health offers the Mindfulness in Motion app for on-the-go practices and reminders to truly be in the present moment, as well as the following free mindfulness recordings, recorded by an advanced practitioner and behavioral health specialist.