When you are focussing on your breathing, it is natural you will be distracted by thoughts as well as distractions coming from outside you like noise, sounds, people, lights, and smells.
When to do this exercise
Daily, preferably both mornings and evenings.
For how long
You can start with about 10-minute sessions and then gradually build on as you build your confidence. You can do this exercise for a couple of weeks initially or then return to it when you want to.
Steps to follow
1. Sit on a chair or sit cross-legged on a flat floor, whatever you prefer or whatever circumstances allow.
2. Try to straighten your back and relax.
3. You can put your hands on the arms of the chair or your knees depending on whether you are sitting in a chair or on a floor.
4. Breath through your nose normally, using your abdomen rather than your chest.
5. Begin counting your breath on each expiration. When you reach, ten, begin counting again.
6. Keep counting and focussing on your breath only
7. If you are distracted by random thoughts, you can label them as " random thoughts" and refocus on your breathing.
8. If you are distracted by things outside you like sounds, noise, people or smells, you can label these as "distractions" and return to focussing on your breathing.
9. You can end your session after ten minutes.
Mindfulness has been a part of eastern culture including Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam for centuries. It is well documented in their traditional scriptures. These exercise can be found in most of the books or material on mindfulness. More recently Mindfulness has been found helpful in dealing with stress, anxiety, negative emotions, low mood, pain tolerance and insomnia. We will be regularly uploading various mindfulness exercises here. Keep checking this page regularly.