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1. Recognise the unsettled mind
Set a timer for five minutes and sit with your back straight with the intention of doing nothing. Keep your eyes open and experience your surroundings. When you notice your thoughts, just bring your attention back to the here and now. Repeat. After five minutes, write down what you noticed about your experience.
2. Settle the mind
Sit for five to 10 minutes with your back straight. Breathe in more deeply than normal, then exhale. You’ll notice thoughts popping into your head, which is natural. You’re not trying to get rid of them, but you’re not doing anything besides focusing on breathing and counting. Write down what you noticed.
3. And repeat
When we engage with our thoughts, we feed energy into this habit and it grows stronger. When we engage with the ‘settling of the mind’ exercise, we shift our focus to something neutral. Each day, spend five minutes practising ‘recognising the unsettled mind’, then five minutes on the ‘settling the mind’ exercise. This focuses our attention on regulating the breathing and allows thoughts to come and go without interfering with them.
Listen to our podcast with Suzy Walker interviewing Mindfulness Based Living (o-books, £10.99) authors here. Guided audio of the practices of the Mindfulness Based Living Course is available on the free app here.