A Simple Mindfulness Exercise: Notice the Moment You’re In

Last week, we asked you to spend 5 minutes twice each day in some self-care activity which could be closing your eyes and paying attention to your breath (mindful breathing) or noticing the sensory experience of taking a shower, walking in nature or washing the dishes. How’d you do? For now, what’s most important is dedicating the time to being in the moment and having a different experience than we usually do when we’re caught up in our busy, stressed out lives. True self-care.

On Monday we challenged you further, asking that you spend 10 minutes twice a day practicing self-care mindfully. Now it’s Thursday? What has your experience been? Whatever’s happened, just the thought to make time for yourself each day is mindful. Let me tell you how.

Research indicates that we spend 80% of our time worrying about the future, 20% of our time regretting the past, and very little in the present moment. However, when we start to notice that our mind has strayed from some activity we intended to do, in that moment, we are living in the present. Sound confusing? It can be.

Let me give you another example. In mindful stress reduction class, we often focus our attention on our breath or a phrase/mantra. After seconds or moments, thoughts begin to interrupt and try to distract us. In the moment when we catch ourselves having a thought instead of paying attention to our breath or mantra, we are being mindful of the present. Still, the best way to learn this is to practice by first setting time aside for self-care and mindfulness and then, noticing when you do or don’t and trying to come back to it.

Here’s the best example though. Today, I noticed that my mind was getting agitated and I felt restless. I’d told my mom I’d visit her and realized after two days of being in my office, I needed some alone time. I called my mom who totally understood and guess what? My mind settled down and I felt calmer. Self-care and mindfulness all in one.

Best Always. Namaste.