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What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is learning to be fully present in the moment with awareness, curiosity, kindness and without judgment.


Mindfulness practice, rooted in ancient practices of attention training, reduces stress, cultivates attention and expands awareness.  It teaches us to observe ourselves and situations with calmness, clarity and presence.   Using mindfulness, we can quietly tap into our inner life in the midst of a busy world, and be in wise relationship with our thoughts, emotions, and with others.  We can become less reactive, and have improved health and well-being.

When mindfulness is practiced regularly, it teaches us to acknowledge our thoughts objectively and with kindness, to notice what is happening in the body, and to come back to the breath as a centering anchor.

A growing body of research demonstrates that mindfulness can not only reduce stress and anxiety, but also foster emotional regulation, impulse control, and increased positive states such as awareness, empathy, perspective-taking, gratitude, happiness, and overall social-emotional intelligence. Practicing mindfulness can build new neural pathways in the brain that increase attention skills, affecting the prefrontal cortex, the seat of attention which is responsible for executive function and working memory.

  • UC Health Integrative Medicine Mindful Mondays 8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. every Monday. Instructed by Barbara Walker, PhD, Integrative Health and Performance Psychologist. Learn More >>

Audio Recordings

Tracks (MP3) of meditations from the mind-body program, guided by Dr. Sian Cotton

Tracks (MP3) of meditations from Meriden McGraw, Center Mindfulness in the Workplace

Pre- and Post-Surgery Meditations from Drs. Sian Cotton and Barbara Walker

YouTube Guided Meditation from Tina Walter

Simple Breathing Meditation

  • Relax and sit up with your spine straight, feet on the ground, hands in your lap, listening on purpose with the attitude that there is no place is more important than this present moment.
  • Relax every muscle in your body and focus on your breath.
  • Notice the feeling of air through your nose as you breathe in and fill your lungs.
  • Slowly let the air out like a straw through your mouth.
  • Use the breath as an anchor, and notice how your body feels. Where do you feel tension?
  • If your mind wanders, if you have thoughts or hear sounds, notice them like passing waves, and return back to the breath.
  • Practice for 5-20 minutes.

Opportunities for Mindfulness at UC

Mindfulness/Meditation Apps

Mindfulness and Meditation Resources

Read more about Mindfulness in Education (PDF)

Additional Mindfulness Resources (PDF) (books, articles)

Contact Us

Osher Center for Integrative
Health at UC

Medical Sciences Building Suite 4358
231 Albert Sabin Way
PO Box 670582 
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0582

Mail Location: 0582
Phone: 513-558-2310
Fax: 513-558-3266