Take a Five

Dan Harris, from Good Morning America, was interviewed about his personal experience with anxiety and his new book, “10% Happier,” and shared a brief exercise on how to practice mindfulness daily. So why not give it a try:

  1. “Find a reasonably quiet place (it doesn’t have to be pristine – and if it’s a little noisy, just wear headphones).
  2. Set the alarm on your phone for five minutes.
  3. Sit comfortably with your back reasonably straight (so as to prevent an unintentional nap – although, to be honest, worse things could happen).
  4. Bring your full attention to the feeling of your breath coming in and going out. Pick a spot where’s it’s most prominent: your nose, your chest, your belly, wherever…
  5. Whenever you get distracted – which you will, a million times – just gently start over.”

“In my experience, it’s a mistake to strive to achieve a certain experience. Often the striving prevents you from getting wherever you’re hoping to go. The goal in meditation is not to reach some special state; it’s to see whatever is happening in your mind clearly. Why is this important? Because when you see your thoughts and feelings clearly, they have less power to yank you around.”