Meditation & Mindfulness
Meditation refers to a wide variety of practices that can help bring calm and relaxation to the mind and body. Different forms of meditation have been practiced for thousands of years as part of spiritual and religious traditions, though many forms of meditation can also be practiced regardless of one’s belief or non-belief.
Benefits of meditation can include being better able to cope with pain and stress and decreased feelings of anxiety. Some forms of meditation include visualization or guided imagery, deep breathing, or repeating a word or phrase (mantra). Other forms of meditation can involve movement, such as yoga, qi gong, and tai chi.
Mindfulness is a type of meditation that promotes a person’s awareness of the present moment. Stressful life situations can lead a person to either focus too much on the past (replaying past distressing events) or too much on the future (worrying about what might happen next). Mindfulness practices can help a person stay grounded in the here and now, and can be done in many different ways. Some mindful practices involve activities like sitting, walking, creative arts, and even mindful eating. Mindfulness-based interventions are increasingly used in healthcare settings for helping cope with stress, trauma, and pain.