Mindfulness Exercises

Mindfulness Exercises


Come Back

When you catch yourself being caught up in worries about the future or guilt and regret about the past, just notice that it is

happening and simply and kindly say to yourself, “Come back.” Then take a calming breath and focus on what you are doing

right now.


3 Senses

A  helpful mindfulness trick is simply to notice what you are experiencing  right now  through 3 senses – sound, sight, touch.

Take a few slow breaths and ask yourself:

  •  What are three things I can hear? (clock on the wall, car going by, music in the next room, my breath)


  •  What are three things I can see? (this table, that sign, that person walking by)


  •  What are three things I can feel? (the chair under me, the floor under my feet, my phone in my pocket)


Think of these answers to yourself slowly, one sense at a time. It’s impossible to do this exercise and not be present and



Mindful Breathing

The intention of this brief exercise is to focus your attention on your breath as you allow thoughts and sensations to come and

go in the background. Find a comfortable place to sit. Put your feet flat on the ground and try to straighten your posture.

Gently close your eyes. Let your shoulders drop down and away from your ears.

Pay attention to your breathing and just allow yourself to continue to breathe naturally.


Now, rest your hands gently on your belly with the fingertips of each hand lightly touching in the middle.

Breathe in smoothly through your nose. And exhale slowly through your mouth. Continue to take slow, smooth breaths.

When you breathe in, notice your belly push your hands gently apart, as you fill your lower lungs with air. When you breathe

out, notice your belly sink back towards your spine as you release your breath. You can imagine that your belly is a balloon. Fill

it with air and then watch it deflate. Now continue to focus on the gentle inhalation and exhalation of your breath.

In...and out...

If any other thoughts or images come into your mind during this exercise, just notice them, and gently bring your attention

back to your breath. You may also become aware of physical sensations or feelings in your body.

Simply notice them, and then again, bring your mind back to your breath.

You don’t need to analyze or give these thoughts or feelings any meaning in this moment. Simply acknowledge them without

judgment and bring your mind back to your breath.

It’s normal for your mind to wander. Simply notice that your mind has wandered and gently bring your attention back to your


Continue to focus on your breathing and stay in this relaxed state for as long as you like. When you are ready, slowly open

your eyes and bring your attention back to your surroundings.


Body Scan

Lie down in a comfortable place like a carpeted floor, couch or bed.

Although you may feel sleepy or your mind may drift while doing this exercise, the goal is to try and remain alert and aware of

the present moment.

Gently close your eyes. Let your shoulders drop down and away from your ears. Bring your attention to your breathing.

Breathe in...and out... and just allow yourself to continue to breathe naturally.

The aim of this exercise is to bring awareness to the physical sensations in different parts of your body. Your mind is probably

used to labeling these sensations as good or pleasurable; or bad, uncomfortable, or even painful.


For this exercise, see if you are able to just notice what you feel without judgment – for example, do you notice tingling,

warmth, pulsating, tightness, or other sensations. Again, it’s not about

whether these sensations are goodor bad, it’s just about noticing them.

Continue to breathe at your own pace, allowing each breathe to come as it may, without any conscious effort to change your

breathing. Notice your lungs slowly fill with air when you breathe in and  deflate when you breathe out.

Now, bring your awareness to where your body makes contact with the floor, couch or bed. On each outbreath, allow yourself

to let go, to sink a little deeper into the surface below you.

Scan your left foot for any sensations. Simply become aware of them. Scan

your left calf. Notice and allow any sensations that may be present. Scan

slowly, up through your thigh now. Allow yourself to feel any and all sensations. If you don’t feel anything at the moment,

that’s okay. Just allow yourself to “not” feeling anything. If you do become aware of tension, or other intense sensations in a


particular part of your body, see if you can "breathe in" to it —using the in-

breath to bring a gentle awareness to the sensations present in your body, without trying to change them.

Now, scan for any sensation in your right foot your calf and thigh. Simply notice all sensations and feel what is happening.

Continue to bring awareness, and a gentle curiosity to the sensations in your right leg. The mind will inevitably wander away

from the breath and the body from time to time, which is normal. When you notice your mind has wandered, gently

acknowledge it, and then return your attention to the part of the body you intended to focus on.

Now focus on your stomach. Feel it rising as you breathe in. Sinking as you exhale. Nice and slow. Your heart rate may slow

down. This is normal. Remain aware of your stomach, your breath. Breathe in... and out...

Continue to notice any sensations in your stomach area.

Body Scan 1

Now scan for any sensations in your left hand and arm. Simply becomeaware of the different sensations and feel what is

happening. Continue to bring awareness, and a gentle curiosity to the sensations. Again, If you don’t feel anything at the

moment, that’s okay. Scan for any sensations in your right hand and arm. Continue to bring awareness, and a gentle curiosity

to the sensations.

Come back up to your chest. Continue scanning up along your neck, and to your face. Feel the sensations in your jaw, and your

throat. Notice how the back of your head rests against the surface under you. Bring your awareness the top of your head.

Now, take a moment to notice how all your body parts are connected. Let any sensations come to you. Just notice what kind

of sensation it is – tingling, warmth, coolness, heaviness, floating. Accept whatever sensation there is as just that, a sensation

that will arise and slowly and gradually change. It is just another part of you.

Continue to focus on your breathing for as long as you like. When you are ready, slowly open your eyes and bring your

back to your surroundings.


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