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Mindful thinking, meditation can help with anxiety, depression

(Facebook Photo/Shannon Woodruff)

PHOENIX — Approximately 40 million American adults — roughly 18% of the population — have an anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

People are focusing on their mental health more than ever and small, mindful practices can do wonders for overall well-being.

“Mindfulness is being aware of what your mind is doing and kind of keeping it in check,” Shannon Woodruff, modern mindfulness advocate and certified meditation instructor, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday.

Woodruff owns and operates a local business, ManifesTEEN, that offers meditation workshops for both adults and teens who want to improve their mindfulness.

“Even the act of just meditating is mindful because you’re saying, ‘I am the one in control here.’” Woodruff said.

Sitting and knowing you are sitting and slowing down a racing mind can help calm you down. In return, it can impact your overall mental health.

“It helps with things like anxiety, insomnia, and mental health in general – just feelings of well-being and positivity and just being aware that you are not your thoughts,” Woodruff said.

How can you start practicing mindful thinking?

“Witnessing your breath, and once you start witnessing your breath, you are witnessing an internal motion you don’t have control over,” Woodruff said.

Woodruff added guided meditations can get adults to use their imaginations in a positive productive way. You can find free tutorials on her Facebook or Instagram or at ManifesTEEN.

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