What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not be overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. It's the ability to maintain a moment-to-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.

Why Practice it?

Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness, even for just a few weeks, can bring a variety of physical, psychological, and social benefits such as boosting your immune system, reducing stress, building resiliency, reducing bias and improving focus and compassion. Read the full list of benefits on UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center website.

Getting Started

Although you can cultivate mindfulness through formal meditation, that's not the only route to increased awareness.You can easily make mindfulness a part of your everyday life. The Greater Good Science Center has a introductory list of how to cultivate mindfulness and offers a variety of exercises designed to get you started.

Take a moment to explore practices such as eating mindfully, walking meditation, mindful body-scan and mindful breathing.

The LBL Mindfulness Meditation group is run by Berkeley Lab employees and meets twice a week, Mondays at 12 noon and Fridays at 11 am.

Mindfulness Meditation – An Interview with the LBL Mindfulness Meditation Group

Mindfulness Apps

Apps are a great way to access mindfulness meditations of all kinds and lengths.

  • Insight Timer (free)

  • Calm

  • Headspace

  • Ten Percent Happier

      • Calm for Kaiser Members (free for one year)

      • myStrength
        UC Health plans have contracted with myStrength to provide employees free access to mindful exercises. myStrength is a personalized, digital program that includes interactive activities, in-the-moment coping tools, inspirational resources, and community support. You can track preferences and goals, current emotional states, and ongoing life events to improve your awareness and change behaviors. myStrength includes dedicated resources for coping during COVID-19. Just click on the link above for instructions in accessing the app.

When we teach mindfulness to kids, we equip them with tools to build self-esteem, manage stress, and skillfully approach challenges. Explore the guide on how to introduce mindfulness and meditation to your children.