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Duration: 10 minutes

  • Find a comfortable position either lying on your back or sitting. If you are sitting down, make sure that you keep your back straight and release the tension in your shoulders, let them drop
  • Close Your Eyes
  • Bring your attention to your breathing
  • Follow the air as it comes in through your nose and goes down to the bottom of your lungs. Then follow it as it goes back out again. Follow the air as it you are riding the waves of your breathing
  • Notice the air moving in and out of your nostrils, how its slightly warmer as it comes out, cooler as it goes in
  • Notice the gentle rise and fall of your rib cage
  • Notice the gentle rise and fall of your abdomen (belly)
  • Fix your attention on one of these areas, whichever you prefer: on the breath moving in and out of the nostrils, on the rising and falling of the ribcage, or the rising and falling of the abdomen (belly)
  • Keep your attention on this spot, noticing the movement - in and out - of the breath
  • Whatever feelings, urges or sensations arise, whether pleasant or unpleasant, gently acknowledge them - as if nodding your head at people passing by you on the street. Gently acknowledge their presence, and let them be. Allow them to come and go as they please, and keep your attention on the breath.
  • Whatever thoughts, images or memories arise, whether comfortable or uncomfortable, simply acknowledge them and allow them to be. Let them come and go as they please, and keep your attention on the breath
  • From time to time your attention will become distracted by thoughts or feelings. Each time this happens, notice what distracted you, then bring your attention back to the breath. No matter how often you attention "wanders off" - whether a hundred times or a thousand - your aim is simple to note what distracted you, and bring attention back to the breath
  • There is no need to be frustrated or impatient or disappointed when you get carried of by your thoughts. It is the same for everyone. Our minds naturally distract us from what we are doing. So each time you realise you attention has wandered, gently acknowledge it, notice what distracted you, and return to your attention to the breath
  • If frustration, boredom, anxiety, impatience or other feelings arise, simply acknowledge them, and maintain your focus on the breath
  • No matter how often your attention wanders, gently acknowledge it, note what distracted you, and gently bring your attention back to the breath
  • When you are ready, bring yourself back to the room and open your eyes

Tips:

  • Make this a habit. Practice this for 5 minutes twice a day, aim to increase duration by 2 - 3 minutes every few days until you can do this for 15-20 minutes at a time.
  • At first, it may be useful to practice this exercise at times when you are not overly stressed or anxious, to get the technique right. Then it can become a useful tool to manage anxiety and stress
  • Even if you can only practice for 1 minute each day, that is better than none at all

 

Russ Harris - www.actmindfully.com.au

 

 

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