The below mindfulness activity takes only a few moments. We encourage everyone to leave simple cues around your office, home, or anywhere else to remind you to try this one frequently. We often use stickers such as these which are fairly innocuous but effective. Perhaps you can try it now!
Stop. Breath. Be.
This is a brief exercise that might be useful in everyday life. It is very simple – it is a discipline of taking a few short moments each day just to stop and be in the moment, notice what is happening, and then move on. You might want to incorporate it into your daily work by, for example, stopping for a moment just before you see a patient, take a breath, wait a second and allow yourself to clear your mind so that you can just be with the patient. It may seem very simple.
Some simple and obvious things can be very helpful if only we would do them!
- Stop – Come to a complete and full stop. Do this deliberately. Make it full and complete. Don’t move on to the next step until you have felt your body stop fully. Wait for that stop, and take long enough to feel it from the inside.
- Breathe – Bring all of your attention to the breath. Try using either one or three breaths. Don’t just notice the breath. Enter it fully, with all of the attention.
- Be – At the end of the breath, rest in the awareness of stillness for a moment. If your eyes were closed, open them. Let any stillness or silence or relaxation that you found radiate out and saturate your environment. Allow that sense of the present moment, and its quiet center to stay with you for as long as it lasts. As it fades, don’t struggle to recreate it. Instead, simply look again to see where it is. It is there already, right in that moment. Stop, Breathe, and Be as often as you can to help you to stay in that moment.
– From training by Epstein et al. (2010)