Personal Wellness & Mindfulness

Personal well-being is critical for optimal health for all humans. As a society, we want to thrive, not just survive. Individuals cannot perform at their best personally or professional if they suffer from prolonged high levels of stress. Many people suffer with stress related illnesses and look to medicine and other healthcare options for help once their problems become unbearable. Stress can lead to severe health complications and “stress in America is high with 65% of workers attributing their job as a major source of stress (American Psychological Association, 2012).  Individual and institutional action is needed to address this problem and to adjust policies to assist with lowering personal and workplace stress, while also increasing overall wellness. Finding more preventative care options would only make sense as the cost of healthcare continues to rise in the United States. One option that seems to be growing in popularity is the practice of mindfulness meditation. People who practice mindfulness report decreased stress, increased job satisfaction, productivity, and wellbeing (Schaufenbuel, 2014).

It is time to start a daily practice. Take the next five minutes to focus on your breath. When you notice that your mind has wandered off, simply return your focus to your breath. As your attention is sustained in the present moment you may notice intensified sound, temperature, and feelings in the body. Simply make note of these in your mind and continue to focus on the breath. Keeping an open and accepting attitude while practicing mindfulness is also a very important component. It is okay for your mind to wander. Each time you return your focus back to the moment you are strengthening your ability to focus. Keep going. Practice daily.

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