TUESDAY WATCH THE BREATH
Identify the place where your breath feels the strongest in this moment (commonly the belly, chest, or around the nostrils and upper lip) and make this area the focus of your attention l Notice the sensations of breathing rising and falling, expansion and contraction. You may find it helpful to place a hand on your belly or chest to connect with these physical feelings l Be aware of the length of each in-breath and notice the instant when an in-breath becomes an out-breath l Your mind may begin to wander, but don’t worry that’s what minds do. Acknowledge it, but bring it back each time without criticism or judgment. This will help you unhook yourself from your thoughts WEDNESDAY LEARN TO LISTEN l Observe how a sound can trigger a thought; this could be a memory of a past event, a person, or a fear of something that is yet to happen.
Often we’re unaware of what has triggered a sudden change of feeling l Whilst we can use music to lift our mood, we may also wallow in sad songs that can drag us down. If you notice yourself doing this, nip it in the bud and change the tune l Pay particular attention today to the small sounds that can be easily missed, like a bird trying to outsing its rival outside your window THURSDAY CONVERSE MINDFULLY l Try to stay present when talking. If you notice your mind wandering, bring it back l Let the speaker finish, without interrupting them l Notice the speaker’s body language and facial expressions, as well as their tone of voice l If you notice yourself mentally rehearsing what you want to say next, acknowledge it and let it go l Watch out for a me too’ tendency it’s all too easy to jump in and direct attention back to you, topping a story with one of your own that is bigger and better FRIDAY BANK THE GOOD Try this quick exercise: 1 Think back to a happy moment or experience. What thoughts occurred to you at this time? 2 Did you notice any particular sensations in your body?
3 How were you feeling at this particular moment? 4 What are you feeling now as you reflect on this uplifting episode? SATURDAY PRACTISE KINDNESS l Bring to mind something about yourself that you want to improve l Notice the words and phrases that surface how do they make you feel? l Now imagine that your best friend has come to you with the same problem. What would you say? Put your thoughts to them in a letter l Set the note aside for a few days, before coming back to it and reading it as if it is addressed to you. Can you cultivate passion for yourself? Does the letter sound different to how you talked to yourself at the beginning of this task? SUNDAY TAKE A MINDFUL MINUTE 1 Find a timer. Begin to settle your breathing then set your timer for 60 seconds. On your next in-breath, press start’ and begin counting your breaths 2 Breathe in â breathe out â One Breathe in â breathe out â Two Continue until the timer goes off 3 How many breaths did you count? Write the number down here. Use this as a handy reference point for the next time you try this exercise.