Colorado fall foliage provides a perfect opportunity to practice mindful photography.

Conquering Cognitions

A mindfulness based intervention that beautifully combines awareness and appreciation.

It's the perfect time of year in Colorado. The fall colors are exploding all over the state, and the brilliant yellow, orange, and red leaves create a visually stunning backdrop as you drive to work, take your children to school, or run errands.

When was the last time you stopped to fully appreciate the beauty in your community? Sometimes in the busyness of life, we forget to notice the beauty that is all around us. This month, consider incorporating mindfulness for an extra mood lift as you enjoy the fall foliage.


Mindfulness is an active process of focusing your attention on the present moment without being overly reactive or judgmental. It is both awareness and acceptance. When you pause and pay attention, there is an opportunity to notice things you might otherwise miss.

If you are frantically running in circles trying to find the path, you miss out on the journey. What do you notice when you stop moving?

Mindfulness has many health benefits including decreasing stress, improving sleep quality, and strengthening attention skills. It creates space between our emotions and our responses which is helpful in interpersonal interactions. Mindfulness is an integral part of holistic health.

Like most new habits, it is helpful to start small and slowly incorporate the behavior into your routine.

Mindful photography

Mindful photography is a great way to weave mindfulness into your daily routine. Armed with a camera, you can explore your beautiful community through a different lens, freezing time by capturing a snapshot. After taking the photo, pause a moment and take note of your senses.

  • What do you see? (clouds, trees, colorful leaves)
  • What is something you can feel? (breeze on your face, the rough texture of a tree trunk)
  • Do you hear anything? (birds singing, the crunch of leaves under your feet)
  • What do you smell? (wet moss, pine needles)

Since there are only a few weeks of beautiful fall foliage in Colorado, consider doing a 7-day photo challenge. Take one picture of your environment every day for a week. At the end of the week, look through your photos and try to recall the positive emotions that were triggered in that moment.

Mindful photography is also a fun way to introduce children to the health-promoting benefits of mindfulness. Encourage your child to take a few pictures of the changing leaves during a walk around the neighborhood. After the walk, review their photos and let them tell you why they were drawn to each image. This is a great way to share a mindful connection with your child.

Final thoughts

Fall in Colorado is a perfect time to enjoy your big backyard. There is beauty all around us. Challenge yourself to document the beauty with photos of unexpected finds. Mindful photography is a simple technique that combines awareness and appreciation for a powerful mood boost.

What is the view outside your window?

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Clinical psychologist | Outdoor enthusiast | Museum lover | Sharing strategies for healthy living, happy relationships, and low-cost activities the whole family can enjoy!

Colorado Springs, CO

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