Mindfulness Exercise

First, affirm to yourself who you are and what sort of person you aim to be. With this in mind, make yourself comfortable and focus on your breathing. Notice that your breath has its own pattern as it breathes in and out. Spend some time with it before grounding yourself to the external stimuli of touch and pressure, sound and sight (even with your eyes closed you will notice colours, shapes and movements across your eyelids), taste and smell, taking each sense one a time and spending between 10-20 seconds focusing on that one sense. Then notice any physical sensations such as tension or physical discomfort. Stand back from them and just notice that you have them. Again take each sensation one at a time and imagine that you can take your breath to it and breathe out through it. Notice what happens and stay with whatever you are feeling no matter how strong or uncomfortable the feeling becomes. Notice what happens. Bring a curiosity to the experience as if you were watching a film. When you notice that it is no longer pulling at you, let it go. Now do the same with your thoughts and just notice them in the same detached way as you have with the feelings. You may notice the thoughts give rise to emotional feelings so just notice that. Don’t try to push them away, or analyse or label them in a judgmental way. Notice the presence of the thoughts. When you do this you may notice that they come and go and that finally you are not thinking of anything much at all. You might find it useful to acknowledge or to name the thought: “I am having a thought about ….,” without investing anything in it. Even if you are having thoughts that make no sense or are persistent, just notice them as they are. Thoughts drift and once they have drifted away you will notice that you have also let go of the emotion. In time you will notice that you are thinking about nothing in particular. You will also notice how relaxed you feel.