Mindfulness exercise #1: observing your thoughts

This exercise is akin to meditation but it is an exercise in mindful just the same. So don’t be put off by the idea of ‘meditating’. It is a very simple exercise, but very helpful in quieting an unruly mind and dispersing unwanted emotions.


No need to be as stately as Lincoln in his chair to practice this mindfulness exercise. Plus, his chair looks really uncomfortable: take that Abe!

  1. Set aside a time when you know you won’t be interrupted and switch of your phone.
  2. Sit however is comfortable for you. It doesn’t need to be cross legged on the floor, a chair will do fine. But sit with a straight back (straight not rigid) and preferably without leaning against the back of the chair. The idea is to remain comfortable but attentive.
  3. Close your eyes and observe your breathing just as it is. There’s no need to change anything. Just watch and observe each breath coming in and going out.
  4. Thoughts will try to get in and take your attention – don’t let that concern you. Observe them. Let go of them and get back to focusing, once again, on your breathing.
  5. Practice this exercise for just five minutes to begin with.

Practice at some point every day , increasing it to longer periods whenever possible.

That’s all there is to it!

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