Mindfulness is a practice that involves increasing awareness of the present moment by focusing on thoughts, feelings, and sensations. It can also refer to focusing on one task at a time without distraction.

People can use a variety of techniques to practice mindfulness. These may include meditation, breathing practices, and mind-body exercises.

Practicing mindfulness can reduce stress, improve focus, and encourage mental growth.

Read on to learn more about mindfulness, its wide range of benefits, and how to practice it.

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Mindfulness is a Buddhist teaching that involves deepening one’s awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings, and sensations. It can also include observing aspects of the environment, such as sounds, smells, and objects.

Additionally, mindfulness is part of modern psychotherapy approaches, including mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT).

Many people find mindfulness beneficial to their overall well-being. It can positively impact their mental, emotional, and physical health.

Mindfulness practices may help people become more perceptive of themselves and their environment. They can use mindfulness as a tool to develop focus, concentration, and mental clarity. This may enhance their work, academics, or athletic performance.

Research shows that self-reflection may encourage self-concept development. This is when a person experiences personal growth by observing or analyzing themselves.

On a physical level, practicing mindfulness may promote relaxation and pain reduction.

According to a 2021 systematic review, mindfulness-based stress reduction interventions may be useful in reducing blood pressure. However, the review only focused on research conducted on people with hypertension, so this may only be true for people with existing high blood pressure.

Mindfulness may also reduce potentially harmful habits, including poor sleep, unhealthy eating patterns, and the harmful use of substances.

Mindfulness practices can have a positive effect on mental well-being and can help people develop healthy thought patterns.

Practicing mindfulness may help people learn how to avoid getting stuck in negative thought patterns. This can help improve their mood and feel better overall.

By becoming more mindful, people can learn to let go of the past and not worry about the future. This allows them to be more present, which can reduce stress and worry.

Being mindful may also reduce some symptoms of anxiety and depression.

According to a small 2019 study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, people who practiced focusing attention meditation and open monitoring meditation experienced positive effects on their anxiety, depression, and rumination. The meditation practices also improved their mindfulness and emotional states.

Through mindfulness practices, people may learn to better regulate their emotions. They may also become more calm, patient, and empathetic.

Mindfulness practices involve regulating thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. While mindfulness can be a structured practice, it can also involve taking a moment to check in with oneself during a busy day.

People can practice mindfulness through in-person classes, apps, and online classes. They should choose whichever option works best for them.

It can be difficult to start a mindfulness practice, but setting aside a dedicated time and place may help. People can dedicate a quiet, calm area to their practice, as space allows. This space can serve as a trigger to focus on calm and self-awareness.

The space should be free of distractions, including technology. The space should also include a comfortable place to sit or lie down and can include items, such as plants, candles, or cushions.

Mindfulness practices include:


Most types of meditation incorporate some aspect of mindfulness. For example, mindfulness meditation involves focusing on one’s thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

The person may also become more aware of their breath and environment.

Learn more about the 7 types of meditation.

Walking meditation

Typically, people practice walking meditation at a leisurely pace. They may focus on the feeling of their body as it moves, their surroundings, the smell of the air, and the feeling of their breath.

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra, also known as yogic sleep, is a guided meditation practice that encourages deep relaxation. Usually, a person is lying down, and they aim to reach a state of calm between wake and sleep.

Research shows it may reduce anxiety and stress levels.


People can incorporate mindfulness techniques into breathing exercises. Some of these exercises include box breathing, alternate nostril breathing, and diaphragmatic breathing.

Learn more about breathing techniques.

Body scan meditation

Practitioners also call this technique progressive relaxation. It involves visualization and a systematic awareness of the body. A person can pay attention to sensations or areas of tension in their body.

Mind-body exercises

Mind-body exercises include yoga, tai chi, and qigong. They are usually physical activities that involve aspects of mindfulness.

Mindful activities

In this practice, people make a point to devote their full attention to the present moment while doing an activity. For example, a person could practice mindful eating by eliminating distractions and focusing on the taste, feeling, and sensation of eating each bite of food.

Mantra repetition

This technique involves either internally or verbally reciting a mantra, phrase, or intention. This helps calm the mind by encouraging concentration. People can also listen to a mantra.

Sound healing

Sound healing techniques create sound waves and vibrations that may encourage healing and relaxation. The practice may involve gongs, tuning forks, or singing bowls.

People can also listen to various types of music, including classical, binaural beats, and solfeggio frequencies.

Mindfulness is the practice of observing what is happening in the present moment. The technique teaches people to become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

People can add mindfulness practices to their everyday life with short sessions throughout the day and longer, more formal sessions in the morning or evening, typically.