A Simple Mindfulness Exercise Everyone Should Try At Least Once

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There’s no right or wrong way to do this practice. Try to accept whatever your individual experience is. The goal is not to achieve perfect focus on your breath, but rather to learn how your mind works! It’s normal for your mind to wander, but when you catch your mind wandering and deliberately bring it back, you’re learning to mindfully control the focus of your attention. Try this basic breath awareness meditation once or twice a day for two weeks, and observe what happens.

Step 1 Pick a comfortable, quiet place where you won’t be disturbed.

Step 2 Sit with your spine upright on a chair or on a cushion on the floor. If you use a chair, make sure your feet are touching the ground. Close your eyes or maintain a soft, unfocused gaze.

Step 3 Focus on your breathing. Try to maintain an open and curious attitude. Pay attention to where your breath goes when it enters and leaves your body.

Step 4 Don’t try to force or change your breath in any way. It may change naturally as you observe it.

Step 5 If your mind wanders, note what it’s doing, and then gently bring your attention back to your breath.

Step 6 Continue observing your breath for eight to ten minutes. At the end of the session, notice how your mind and body feel, then slowly come back to the room.

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