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We’re all guilty of “viewing” the world through the screen of our cell phones. It’s becoming more apparent that our culture has difficulty being present in a moment without an electronic device. Next time you’re in an airport restaurant, waiting in a long line, sitting on the bus or getting coffee, take a look at your surroundings. Most people are glued to the screens of their phones and completely oblivious to the world that is taking place around them. I’m also guilty of pulling out my phone to take a picture of a beautiful sunrise or a picturesque skyline.  Instead of taking in the beauty and appreciating the sight, I feel the need to capture it, alter it by adding a filter and posting it to my social media account. How did I fall into this trap and become someone who finds it difficult to be in the moment?Mindfulness is an intentional practice of being in the moment. According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, “mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” Mindfulness sounds easy enough but it takes practice and intention to implement into your daily life. It is a practice I recommend everyone try because it improves quality of life, improves physical health and can be used to treat a variety of mental health problems. As for physical health, mindfulness techniques have been shown to help with:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Hypertension
  • Chronic pain
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

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I am going to start making a conscious effort to put down my phone and participate in the beautiful world that is going on around me.  I challenge you to do the same! If you’d like more information about mindfulness I urge you to pick up the book “Mindfulness for Beginners.”

“Just watch this moment, without trying to change it at all. What is happening? What do you feel? What do you see? What do you hear?”
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life