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    Mayo Clinic Minute: What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a buzzword these days. But what does it really mean? Dr. Richa Sood, a Mayo Clinic general internist, says practicing mindfulness may help lower your stress level and make you happier.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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"At its core, there are two big components," says Dr. Sood.  "The first one is putting our attention in the moment where we want it to be."

Dr. Sood says to pay attention to the here and now. That way, your mind won't wander or focus on the negative.

"But sometimes the present moment may be dull. It may be painful. So attention alone doesn't cut it. We also need to be looking at the moment in a nonjudgmental fashion," says Dr. Sood.

What does that mean?

"When we get a thought or an experience, we immediately have a response to it: good, bad, not so good, I don't care, I'm scared.”

Dr. Sood says before you respond, pause. Mindfulness is attention, focus and delayed judgment, which decreases emotional reactivity.

Mindfulness may reduce stress and improve quality of life.