Mindfulness is the nonjudgmental self-awareness of thoughts, feelings, and behavior choices. When we get stressed, we are wired to react with fight, flight, or freeze responses. Mindfulness practice teaches us how to respond to stressful events in a different way, gently releasing ourselves from automatic reactions, and accessing a sense of calm and control even during difficult times.
Extensive research has found that practicing mindfulness improves well-being, emotional stability, attention, test scores, memory, and decrease anxiety and depression. On a physical level, practicing mindfulness has been found to manage stress hormones such as cortisol, lower blood pressure, decrease inflammation, improve sleep, and curb overeating.
Mindfulness and meditation skills will be specialized to your needs and guide you, step-by-step, to direct your focus to the present moment. If you become aware that your thoughts wander away from what's going on here and now, you will be asked to take note of your thoughts with non-judgmental and open awareness. After these thoughts gently settle, you will be asked to bring your attention back to the present moment. We will then recognize what emotions and feelings came up, and also bring attention to any physical sensations including pain or tightness. When all the thoughts and sensations are given attention and respect, they no longer need to be pushed away and symptoms diminish.
Reactions to Stress