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Mindful March: Day 3 to 5

Person in a cafe

Day 3

Tune into what’s around you
This can be done at any time during the day. Perhaps choose a time when you’d like to pause or take a break from the activities of the day.

How to do it
Set a timer for two minutes. With the eyes opened or closed, start to focus on the sounds you can hear, or the silence if there aren’t any sounds around you. If you find yourself distracted – don’t worry. As soon as you notice you’ve drifted off, simply bring your mind back to noticing the sounds that you can hear. Notice whether or not there are some sounds that seem more pleasant than others. Are there some you particularly dislike? Is it possible to just be curious about them rather than judging them?

If you’d prefer to do this with a guided meditation, click here for audio
or video.

● What did you notice?
● What was it like to spend time focusing on one of your senses?
● What did you notice about your mind?
● Was it very quiet focusing in on the sounds, or very busy, thinking about things you have to do? Don’t worry if it was very busy – that’s quite normal. Even in two minutes, minds sometimes have trouble focusing on one thing. Notice how you feel after this mini-meditation and what it was like to take a short break in the middle of the day.

Day 4

The power of touch
You can do this at any time of day, but perhaps at home when you are more likely to be able to find a fabric that is really pleasurable to touch or hold.

How to do it
Find a fabric that you like the feel of. Spend a few moments touching it, noticing how it feels against your bare skin. What do you notice in the body as you do this? Spend a few moments enjoying the sensory experience of this fabric. Perhaps tune in to any feelings of pleasure. Notice where you might feel them in the body. Perhaps you might like to notice the difference of feeling the fabric with the palms and back of the hands, and what the difference might be. You might like to brush the fabric against other parts of bare skin and see what you notice.

● When was the last time you enjoyed the sensory pleasures of touch in this way?
● What was it like to do this?

(You can also do this exercise with a willing pet!)

Day 5

Have a mindful snack
Often when we eat during the day, we do so on ‘autopilot’ which means it’s so automatic that we don’t even notice the flavour or texture of our food. When we do this, food doesn’t taste the same, and doesn’t have the same pleasurable aspect to it. If we are so automatic, we might eat so quickly that we might finish our food with no awareness of what we’ve just consumed. This might not be the best thing for our eating habits or our digestion.

How to do it
Next time you have a snack, spend some time using all the senses to enjoy your food. Take a few moments to look at how your food looks – noticing shapes, textures, colours. Give yourself an extra moment to notice the smell (if there is one). What do you notice in your body when you smell and look at the food just before you eat? What do you notice while you’re chewing? What sensations are present in the body as you eat? What do you notice about the flavour as you give the food all your attention? If you’d like some guidance, you could try this video.

● Is this how you normally eat?
● If not, what did you notice about slowing down while eating? Did it change the experience in any way?
● Was it easy to do, or difficult?
● Could you adopt this approach with other meals?

Find out more about Mindful March.


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