Two-Minute Mindfulness Exercise

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“Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.” – John Lennon

I have a few friends that don’t like the impact of their phones and our connected world on their attention span and ability to “just be” in the moment.

So I thought it would help to share a quick two minute exercise for practicing mindfulness.

Mindfulness can help improve your inner peace and develop your Emotional Intelligence (EQ.)

You can use your mindfulness to enjoy the moment, or to choose how you respond, instead of react to situations and events in your life.

In the book, Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace), Chade-Meng Tan helps us learn how to be more mindful in just two minutes a day.

Learning to “Just Be” Can Change Your Life

By practicing mindfulness, you can deepen your calmness and clarity.  When you improve your inner peace, you’ll find more outer peace, all around you.

Via Search Inside Yourself:

“This simple exercise is mindfulness practice.  If practiced often enough, it deepens the inherent calmness and clarity in the mind. 

It opens up the possibility of fully appreciating each moment in life, every one of which is precious. 

It is for many people, including myself, a life-changing practice.  Imagine, something as simple as learning to just be can change your life.”

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the mind of just being.

Via Search Inside Yourself:

“In learning and teaching, the good news is that mindfulness is embarrassingly easy.  It is easy because we already know what it’s like, and it’s something we already experience from time to time. 

Remember that Jon Kabat-Zinn skillfully defined mindfulness as ‘paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.’ 

Put most simply, I think mindfulness is the mind of just being.  All you really need to do is to pay attention moment-to-moment without judging. 

It is that simple.”

Two-Minute Mindfulness the Easy Way

Ready to start practicing your mindfulness?  Let’s dive in.   But let’s start off easy.  Just breathe for two minutes and focus your attention on your breath.

Via Search Inside Yourself:

“The creatively named Easy Way is to simply bring gentle and consistent attention to your breath for two minutes. 

That’s it. 

Start by becoming aware that you are breathing, and then pay attention to the process of breathing.  Every time your attention wanders away, just bring it back very gently.”

Two-Minute Mindfulness the Easier Way

If the Easy Way to practice mindfulness seems to hard, then let’s try an even easier way.  Just sit without an agenda for two-minutes.

Via Search Inside Yourself:

“The Easier Way is, as its name may subtly suggest, even easier. 

All you have to do is sit without agenda for two minutes. 

Life really cannot get much simpler than that. 

The idea here is to shift from ‘doing’ to ‘being,’ whatever that means to you, for just two minutes. 

Just be.”

Two-Minute Mindfulness the Even Easier Way

O.K., so you want an even easier way?  Switch back and forth between the Easy Way and the Easier Way as often and whenever you choose.

Via Search Inside Yourself:

“To make it even easier, you’re free to switch between the Easy Way and the Easier Way anytime during these two minutes. 

Any time you feel like you want to bring awareness to breathing, just switch to Easy. 

Any time you decide you’d rather just sit without agenda, just switch to Easier. 

No question asked.”

The Hard Part in Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness is easy, but the hard part is being able to summon deep calmness and vivid presence when you need it most, when life tests us.

Via Search Inside Yourself:

“The hard part in mindfulness practice is deepening, strengthening, and sustaining it, especially in times of difficulty. 

To have a quality of mindfulness so strong that every moment in life, even in trying times, is infused with deep calmness and a vivid presence, is very hard and takes a lot of practice. 

But mindfulness per se, is easy.  It is easy to understand and easy to arise in ourselves.  That ease is what I capitalize on as an instructor.”

A Child Teaches Us How To Be More Mindful

Tan practices mindfulness with his daughter, and it helps remind him of the most ordinary—and the most precious– experience in life – just being.

Via Search Inside Yourself:

“Most evenings, before we sleep, my young daughter and I sit in mindfulness together for two-minutes.  I like to joke that two minutes is optimal for us because that is the attention span of a child and of an engineer. 

For two-minutes a day, we quietly enjoy being alive and being together. 

More fundamentally, for two minutes a day, we enjoy being.  Just being. 

To just be is simultaneously the most ordinary and the most precious experience in life.

As usual, I let my experience with a child inform how I teach adults.  This daily two-minute experience is the basis of how I introduce the practice of mindfulness in introductory classes for adults.”

Can you learn to “just be”?

Way to be.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve tried to start meditating (a deep form of mindfulness if you will) and decided to take a step back.
    like your suggestion I just found myself 2 easy practises:

    A) walking outside, mostly for work break or mornings in the weekend, focussing my breath and enjoying the environment

    B) using the 5 minute journal (5 standard questions every day, 3 in the morning 2 in the evening)

    these two things are helping me a lot and most important I’m doing consistently – might expand it in couple of months for a test.

    • I think anything you do that can help you be more present, be more engaged in the now, and better manage how you feel, is a good thing.

      I’m doing a few experiments myself, including testing bio-feedback. I’ll share more soon.

  2. Thanks again, JD, for making things accessible. I use a song to begin and to time the duration of my exercise. I began doing this about a year ago during a cross-country drive. Now, when I hear the first note, my breathing almost immediately syncs up and I begin to relax. It’s been a really helpful trigger.

    • It sounds like you found a great way to link relaxation to songs.

      I find that in just about any scenario, if I just remember to breathe (and I say that one word to remind myself to shift my focus and to feel my breath), I’m instantly centered. It’s how I’ve trained my relaxation response.

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