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Mindfulness & Meditation

In Focus

Although the practices of mindfulness and meditation are thousands of years old, research on their health benefits is relatively new, but promising.

Being in the moment

Learning to focus your attention on the present moment can have a wide variety of benefits.

Learn more from Harvard's Center for Wellness and Health Promotion

Mindfulness is the simple process of noticing new things about the familiar. When we notice actively, we become sensitive to perspective and change.”

Ellen Langer in her backyard

Mindfulness and meditation may help:

Mindfulness can help us recognize that some fear reactions are disproportional to the threat, and thus reduces the fear response …”

Sara Lazar, MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program

A woman sits in an office with books behind her

Mindful moment

Get comfortable and try this mindfulness exercise.

Two students meditate
  • 1. Sit

    Sit on a straight-backed chair or comfortably on the floor.

  • 2. Focus

    Focus on your breath and pay attention to things such as the sensations of air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, or your belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale.

  • 3. Expand

    Once you’ve narrowed your concentration in this way, begin to widen your focus. Become aware of sounds, sensations, and ideas.

  • 4. Embrace

    Embrace and consider each thought or sensation without judging it good or bad. If your mind starts to race, return your focus to your breathing. Then expand your awareness again.

Calm your mind

Harvard’s Center for Wellness and Health Promotion offers a number of pre-recorded mediations for anyone to explore.

See more meditations

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