When you hear the word "mindfulness," what do you think about? A yoga studio, perhaps. Someone sitting, legs crossed, eyes closed, ommmmming their way to enlightenment. Or maybe something strange and unfamiliar. Specific definitions can vary, but in a general sense mindfulness is the experience of living through a moment free of distraction. Experiencing something without your mind veering off to some other tangent - which happens more often than you might think. And it doesn't necessarily require special techniques.
"Meditation and mindfulness are not equal," psychiatrist Clif Tennison says. "We can be minfdul in any moment. We can be minfdul washing the dishes, or taking a shower, or walking down the street."
Mindfulness practices can help improve the brain's flexbility, build new neural pathways and reduce anxiety. In this edition of HealthConnections, we explore mindfulness and its effects.