03/26/2013 12:05 am ET Updated May 25, 2013

Mindfulness Requires Practice And Purpose

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Like most people, I have my share of tension and anxiety. And I’m happy to find ways to cope that don’t involve illegal drugs. So when the term mindfulness began cropping up everywhere, I became intrigued.

Elementary school students practice it. Doctors practice it -- and their patients. Prisoners practice it. There’s mindful eating that promises a healthier way of eating. And scans show mindfulness may change the way our brains function and help us improve attention, reduce stress hormones and even bounce back faster from negative information.

But, skeptic that I am, I wondered if it was being oversold as a panacea that is simple, safe and involves no heavy objects.
First, I had to figure out what exactly it is. I had an understanding that mindfulness went hand-in-hand with meditation, but also that it was more than that.

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