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How to Do a Three-Minute Mindfulness Exercise

Part of the Mindfulness Workbook for Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

Mindfulness exercises and meditations train your brain to be focused and calm. With better focus you’re more productive, feel more in control of your life and are happier. Mindfulness leads to lower levels of stress, which reduces anxiety and depression, as well as reducing physical ailments like psoriasis, chronic pain, high blood pressure and more.

Here’s a short mindfulness exercise to get you started enjoying all that mindfulness and mindfulness meditation has to offer. Practise this exercise whenever you have a few minutes to spare. In fact, you reduce the whole thing to one minute, or extend the process out to ten minutes. And you can practice it on the train, while waiting in a queue or lying in bed.

  1. Sit up straight with your head balanced on your neck. Allow your eyes to close, or gaze downwards.

  2. Begin by taking three deep breaths. Breathe all the way down into the base of your lungs, so your belly expands on your in-breath and contracts on your out-breath.

  3. Now let your breath become normal and natural again and consider the following:

    1. Step A – Awareness. Become aware of your body. Notice any bodily sensations. The touch of your feet on the floor; the weight of your body on the chair. Now become aware of your emotions. Notice how you’re feeling at the moment. And now become aware of your thoughts. Allow the thoughts to arise and pass away if you can. Allow about a minute for this step.

    2. Step B – Breath. Now, bring your attention to your breathing. Feel the whole of your in- and out-breath for about a minute. If you can, feel your breathing down in your belly. Gather your attention into your breath and use your breath as a stable place to rest your focus.

    3. Step C – Consciously expanding. Open up your awareness from your breathing to your whole body. In this stage, your attention is wide and spacious, feeling all the sensations in your body, with a sense of kindness and curiosity if you can. Allow space for all sensations to just be there, including the sensation of your breathing. Do this for about a minute.

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