Easy mindfulness tips to improve mental health

Mindful meditation has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Here is a quick exercise you can try for yourself.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in anxiety and major depressive disorders across the world.

The social and economic consequences of the pandemic have resulted in 76 million additional cases of anxiety disorders and 53 million major depressive disorders.

It's extremely important to prioritize your mental health during these troubling times. According to health experts, by using mindfulness techniques, you can help yourself feel fully present and engaged in the moment. This allows you to manage your thoughts, feelings, and overall mental health.

Mindfulness has roots in Buddhist philosophy. The aim is to create a state of "bare awareness" where you simply notice your present thoughts without judgment. By observing your feelings, you build tolerance and a capacity for negative emotions.

Mindful meditation approaches have been shown to significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Here is a 1-minute exercise that can assist you:

Observe your breathing for a moment. Notice the time between inhalation and exhalation. Pay attention to your lungs expanding. If you find your mind wandering, gently bring attention back to your breath.

Draw attention to your body and become aware of the sensations you're feeling. Start at your feet and slowly bring the awareness upwards.

Move your focus out of your hands and become aware of your environment and the space around you.

When you ground yourself with these techniques it becomes easier to reflect on your current mental state. By being an active observer, you will find yourself more grounded and ready to challenge difficult thoughts.

If you are in need of immediate assistance or counseling, contact the City of Philadelphia's 24-hour Mental Health Delegate Line at 215-685-6440. Additionally, the Crisis Text Line is a 24/7 texting hotline for any emotional crisis - Text HOME to 741741.
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