Today’s world can feel fast-paced and it’s easy to get caught-up in the rhythm where every minute counts. While multitasking was once a trendy skill, we know now that our brains aren’t actually capable of simultaneously handling so much information, and trying to do so lowers our efficiency and makes us feel out of control.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list and you’re finding it hard to prioritise, it can be really helpful to press the pause button and break the rhythm. You can interrupt that frenzied thought pattern in an instant with our little mindfulness exercise. That way you’ll come back to your tasks feeling much clearer, calmer and able to concentrate.
All you need is 60 seconds!
Mindfulness and meditation don’t have to mean dedicating an entire hour to silence, while you learn to accept your thoughts without judgment.
Let’s get started
This exercise can be done standing, sitting or waiting at the bus stop, but do make sure your body is relaxed before starting.
– Lower your eyes so your gaze goes out of focus and secondary.
– Begin by breathing evenly and notice where you feel your breath. This could be in your chest and shoulders, your windpipe or maybe your nostrils.
– One breath cycle should last about 6 seconds:
– Now inhale through your nose, counting to 3.
– Exhale through your mouth 4,5,6…
– Stick to this rhythm, allowing the air to exit your body effortlessly. With every breath you’re taking in more oxygen and releasing your body’s waste products such as carbon dioxide. In with the good, out with the bad – it couldn’t be much simpler, could it?
– Let go of your thoughts, but if your mind does happen to wander, which it probably will do, that’s not a problem. Notice that your mind has drifted and redirect your attention back to your breathing.
– When you’re ready, return to your surroundings.
You can practise this exercise at any time, whether you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed or not, but if you’re new to mindfulness, think of this as your joker card. Soon you’ll recognise those moments when you might feel a little frantic, and you’ll automatically press pause and focus on your breathing! If you enjoyed one minute of this mind-soothing exercise, why not try two or three?