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Embracing the practice of being in the moment with mindfulness

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is defined by the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

The act of being mindful is achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. To put it simply, mindfulness means paying full attention to something. Being mindful is the opposite of rushing or multi-tasking.

There are 3 key characteristics

  • The first is an intention to cultivate awareness (and return to it again and again).
  • The second is attention to what is occurring in the present moment (simply observing, thoughts, feelings and sensations as they arise).
  • Third is having an attitude that is non-judgmental, curious and kind.

How to Practice Mindfulness

  • Take a seat. Find a place that feels calm and quiet.
  • Set a time limit. For beginners try 5 or 10 minutes.
  • Notice your breath…
  • Notice your body…
  • Notice your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations as they arise…
  • Practice being kind, curious and non-judgmental.

Tips to Improve your Practice

  • Do one thing at a time.
  • Put down your phone.
  • Find mindful moments in everyday life.
  • Use your senses (sight, sound, smell, touch and taste)
  • Take your practice outdoors.
  • Examples of Mindful Exercises or Activities
  • Mindful Meditation
  • Body Scan
  • Mindful Walk
  • Mindful eating

What are the Benefits of Mindfulness in Mental Illness

The practice of “mindfulness” is becoming more commonplace as part of mental health treatment research has shown the practice of mindfulness  is associated with a variety of indicators of psychological health, such as higher levels of positive affect, life satisfaction, vitality, and adaptive emotion regulation, and lower levels of negative affect and psychopathological symptoms (Keng et al., 2011).

If you or anyone in your family is experiencing mental health concerns, please call
The Center for Collaborative Counseling and Psychiatry at 847-440-2281.  

Embracing the Practice of been in the moment with Mindfulness
Brandi Gries, LCPC, LPHA, MA
The Center for Collaborative Counseling and Psychiatry


Keng, S. L., Smoski, M. J., & Robins, C. J. (2011). Effects of mindfulness on psychological health: a review of empirical studies. Clinical psychology review31(6), 1041–1056.