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Take Ten Breaths
- Throughout the day, pause for a moment and take ten slow, deep breaths. Focus on breathing out as slowly as possible, until the lungs are completely empty, and breathing in using your diaphragm
- Notice the sensations of your lungs emptying and your ribcage falling as you breathe out. Notice the rising and falling of your abdomen
- Notice what thoughts are passing though your mind. Notice what feelings are passing through your body.
- Observe those thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad, and without trying to change them, avoid them or hold onto them. Simply observe them
- Notice what it's like to observe those thoughts and feelings with an attitude of acceptance
Notice Five Things
This is a simple exercise to centre yourself and connect with your enviornment. Practice it throughout the day, especially at any time you find yourself getting caught up in your thoughts and feelings
- Pause for a moment
- Look around and notice five things you can see
- Listen carefully and notice five things you can hear
- Notice five things you can feel in contact with your body (eg: your watch against your wrist, you trousers against your legs, the air on your face, your feet on the floor, your back against the chair)
Mindfulness in your morning routine:
Pick an activity that is part of your everyday morning routine, such as brushing your teeth, shaving or having a shower
- When you do it, totally focus on what you are doing: the body movements, the taste, the touch, the smell, the sight, the sound etc
For example: When you're in the shower, notice the sounds of the water as it sprays out of the nozzle and as it hits your body and gurgles down the hole. Notice the temperature of the water, and the feel of it in your hair and on your shoulders, and running down your legs. Notice the smell of the soap and shampoo, and the feel of them against your skin. Notice the sight of the water droplets on the walls or shower screen, the water dripping down your body and the steam rising upwards. Notice the movements your arms make as you wash, scrub or shampoo.
- When thoughts arise, acknowledge them, let them be, and bring your attention back to the shower.
- Again and again you attention will wander. As soon as you realise this has happened, gently acknowledge it, note what distracted you, and bring your attention back to the shower
Mindfulness of Domestic Chores
Pick an activity such as ironing clothes, washing dishes, vacuuming floors and do it mindfully.
For example: When ironing the clothes, notice the colour and shape of the clothing, and the pattern made by the creases, and the new pattern as the creases disappear. Notice the hiss of the steam, the creak of the ironing board, the faint sound of the iron moving over the material. Notice the grip of your hand on the iron, and the movement of your arm and shoulder.
- If boredom or frustration arises, simple acknowledge it, and bring your attention back to the task at hand.
- When thoughts arise, acknowlege them, let them be, and bring your attention back to what you are doing.
- Again and again, your attention will wander. As soon as you realise this has happened, gently acknowledge it, note what distracted you, and bring your attention back to your current activity.