It’s the silly season! Life is ridiculously busy. You’re revising your expanding to-do-list on a daily basis and time just seems to get away from you. It’s so hard to sit down and write. Sound familiar?
For writers, just the thought of sitting down and attempting to achieve even the smallest word count toward our WIP can be an overwhelming prospect. We tend to procrastinate or push it down lower on our list of priorities. It’s a struggle to focus.
Mindfulness is a really useful tool to draw on, when you’ve lost your focus. Mindfulness isn’t something you have to learn by going to yoga, therapy or a meditation retreat. It’s something that can be incorporated into your daily life. If you’re not open to the idea of extended periods of meditation, then that’s okay. You can start with just one minute. It can be done anywhere. While you’re at the supermarket, driving, eating or about to sit down at your desk to write 1000 words.
In a previous post, I touched on some of the principles of mindfulness and its benefits for writers. Now I’m going to share a short mindful breathing exercise that can be completed in less than sixty seconds. It will not only help you become attuned to your thoughts and feelings, it will create a sense of stillness and calmness which offers space for creativity.
One Minute Mindfulness Exercise
If this is your first time, I’d recommend finding somewhere quiet where you’ll be undisturbed. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. You can close your eyes or gaze them downwards.
Start by focusing your attention to your breath. Notice the sensations in your body as you inhale and exhale. The air that comes in and out through your nostrils.
With your mind, follow the movement of your abdomen as it rises and falls with each breath. How your chest expands and contracts. In and out.
Do this for ten counts.
If you find your mind wanders, that’s okay. It’s completely normal. Once you are aware that your thoughts have drifted, just label the thought without judgement. For example: “I’m thinking about dinner.” Then return your focus to your breath.
This is a very basic form of breathing meditation. Try to practice it daily for a week or two and notice how your focus improves with each time you do it. As you gain confidence you may wish to move onto longer periods of meditation such as sitting meditations or body scans.
Feel free to browse my range of printable mindfulness journals here.
If you’ve given this exercise a go, then please let me know in the comments how it went!