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Mindfulness: Meditation you can do anywhere

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All February long, we've given you some great tips about taking care of your heart. Well, according to the American Heart Association, meditation is a simple and amazing thing you can do for your overall heart heatlh.

We actually found a class in Flint that offers a twist- a little something outside the usual "om".

Silent, even guided meditation, focusing on the breath and quieting the mind are what most of us imagine when we hear the word, "meditation".

But Michgian State University is offering a meditation class that goes a little off the beaten path. It's called Mindful Meditation, and you absolutely do not have to be quiet to do it.

MSU extension instructor, Maria Millett says, "Mindfulness is about learning to focus your attention on the present moment."

When we visit the class, the focus of the moment is laughter. Yes, laughter meditation. It is done with eyes wide open, and a laugh track.

Millett explains, "So often our minds are running into the future with our to-do lists and our worries or ruminating in the past. So mindfulness is about training your mind. It's exercise for your mind to focus on what's in the here and the now. What am I currently experiencing?"

Which is why, she says, mindful meditation is something you can practice just about anywhere doing just about anything, "You can practice mindful eating where you really slow down the eating experience, focusing on the smell, the texture, what it feels like going down your throat and into your belly."

Sudents say even that simple act of mindful eating can reap huge benefits, especially if you deal with a lot of stress.

(stacie scherman/mindfulness student)

"I tend to feel guilty for taking breaks during the day, 'I should be doing this. I should be doing this.' And, I even eat while I'm working, so mindfulness helps me block everything out for a few minutes."

Staying in the present is helping some students well after their mindful moments pass.

Student, Daniel Broughton says it's been especially helpful for his anxiety level, "It's to stop stressing about issues that have bothered us in the past and stop worrying about issues that could happen in the future."

MSU's Extension Service will host more classes in Flint. For more information, click here.

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