Social Fitness Challenge #6: Throughout the day, take short breaks to practice mindfulness though breath awareness. Be sure to sit comfortably and close your eyes.
The following guide will lead you through a breath awareness exercise. This is only one example of many ways to develop mindfulness through breath awareness. We encourage you to find one that best serves your needs.
Take a few moments to “simply be.” Experience the moment. Notice sounds, physical sensations, thoughts and feelings – without trying to do anything about it. Continue like this a little while, allowing yourself to relax.
Now, bring attention to the breath. Simply notice the breath as it moves in and out – as the body inhales and exhales. Notice how the breath moves in and out automatically, effortlessly. Don’t try to manipulate it in any way. Notice all the details of the breathing experience – the feeling of the air moving in and out of the nose, the way the body moves as it breathes, etc.
If your mind wanders away from the breath, that is fine. That’s a part of the meditation! When you notice that you are no longer observing the breath, simply smile at the thought you were having, then bring your attention back to the breath.
In time, you can become aware of the tendencies of your mind. You will see how it resists certain thoughts and tries to hold onto others. The natural settling down of the mind allows you to notice these underlying tendencies and let them go. If you experience a resistance to what is occurring, an attempt to change what is happening, or a tendency to hold on to some experience – let it go. Focus only on your breath.