Aetna’s Mindful Minute Preaches Mindfulness At Philadelphia Flower Show

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Flower Show is a popular destination where people see all kinds of beautiful exhibits. One thing you might not expect to get there is some peaceful stress relief.

It’s a first at the flower show, an interactive exhibit that helps people get in touch with their senses. You won’t find “do not touch” signs at this exhibit. Touching is actually encouraged.

Welcome to Aetna’s Mindful Minute at the Philadelphia Flower Show, where four of the five senses get stimulated.

“It’s so intense out here, it’s good to just catch your breath for a moment and be mindful,” said Maria Suevo.

Catching your breath includes the lavender corner, where the sense of smell is activated as you’re surrounded with the fragrance.

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“When you’re noticing what the smell is, like you’re not thinking about your to-do list,” Aetna chief mindfulness officer Andy Lee said. “Research shows 47 percent of the time we’re not thinking about what we’re doing when we’re doing it, our mind is distracted or we’re just zoned out.”

“Mindfulness helps people to stay healthier,” Lee added, “if they are already healthy and it helps to speed their recovery if they’re not feeling well.”

Lee says being mindful is all about getting in touch with the senses.

“The idea is that you let go of the other thoughts in your mind and just focus on that one sense and as you do that, it helps you to calm down as you’re paying attention to what you’re doing right here, right now,” Lee said. “That lowers your stress level and let’s you focus on one thing. It’s very soothing.”

The taste sensation comes alive at the lemon wall with lemon drops to eat.

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“It’s very calming, I like it a lot,” Sophia Amodei said. “It’s very crowded here, chaotic. It’s nice to just walk through, take a breath, feel the leaves, smell the lavender and look at everything.”

Flowers displayed on a white wall provide the visual sensations.

“The nice thing about our senses, unlike our thinking is, that it’s always happening right here, right now,” Lee said.

There was one of the five senses that wasn’t in the mindful exhibit. That’s hearing.

One good reason for that? Plants and flowers don’t usually make noise.

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