Yesterday you started to focus your mind by using your breath as a way to stop the mind from wandering. You can repeat the exercise every day, especially when you have a quiet space and are able to come inside you. Today, however, we add a little extra to the same exercise, by integrating additional, easy mindfulness training into every day life.
Think about how much time you spend during the day just being idle: waiting for a train for example. Waiting for your coffee. Waiting at the supermarket check-out. There are many times in a day you are likely to have a few second or even some minutes just by yourself.
Often these minutes just pass us by, maybe you think about something you need to do. Maybe you get annoyed at the time it takes to serve you your drink. Or the delay of the train, which should have been here five minutes ago.
Of course, those little fragments of time can be a source of big frustration: few things seems to get people as angry as waiting. Just think how many people make angry comments on social media when they are waiting.
But at least for today, and maybe even from now on, I invite you to see those little fragments of time as an opportunity to “check in with yourself”. Therefore, the exercise for today is simple:
In one or two situations where you are waiting (and where it is safe to do so), practice mindfulness for a moment or two. To do this, focus on your breath and your current position while standing or sitting. Attempt to focus solely on how you feel, on your breathing, on the way your body is positioned. Focus on the little details of the here and now: smells you can detect, maybe faint noises you would not normally pay attention to. The wind or the feeling of movement. Essentially be present in the current moment, avoid judging the moment (e.g. don’t attempt to classify the waiting as bad or good). Focus on your experience of the moment and try to observe yourself and the moment you are living without judgement, as if you were an outsider with no emotional connection to you.
If you can, try to do this a few times today wherever the opportunity allows.
I hope you enjoy the checking in with yourself today, and maybe you consider incorporating this small exercise into your daily life from now on. Just imagine how many fewer negative thoughts about the train company, the slow cashier or the person serving drinks you might have if you use these small tokens of timeto visit the most important person in the world: you.
If you find this exercise works for your, then why don’t you share it with your friends? To share it, click here – and also let me know how yo are feeling. Don’t forget to include #ug30bc when you tweet, or use the comment function below.