A successful mindfulness practice is an aspect of your life that you renew as often as possible. There are many ways to do this. Here I will share 5 ways you can renew your mindfulness practice at your desk.

  1. Find a spot at your desk and fix your eyes on that spot. Notice how quickly you're breathing. Once you've taken note of this rate, stop yourself for a few seconds on an exhale. Keep your eyes focused on your desk. Now breathe in slowly through your nose, hold, and breathe slowly out. Each inhale and exhale should be about 5 seconds. Do 10 rounds, and return to what you were doing. Notice your rate of breathing now.
  2. Plant your feet flat on the ground. If you're wearing high heels, slip out of them. Maneuver your feet so they are as flat as possible. Now let your arms fall wherever is comfortable. For most people, this will be with their forearms resting somewhere on their thigh. Notice every part of your body that is in contact with something that is not your body. This will involve your feet, obviously, as well as your legs and backside where they are touching your chair. If you are leaving back, notice that. Look around and notice everything in relation to your body, all while trying to keep the sensation of being in contact in your mind.
  3. This technique builds off the last two in a more specialized way. Plant your feet on the ground, as flat as possible. Now start noticing your breath. On your exhale, notice the air as it passes through your nose and onto your upper lip. On the inhale, think about the way the floor feet against your feet. Alternate back and forth between these two until your attention feels as though it is a mechanism of your breathing, almost like a lever arm. Sometimes it can help to visualize the energy you get from the breath passing up through your body from your feet to your nose and then back down.
  4. Someone designed the space you're sitting in right now. Look around and notice what they must have scene. Think about how they imagined the space being used. Speculate about what they believed to be the most attractive part of the space. What did it look like when it was first constructed, before there was furniture or anything else inside? Think about how that changed over time.
  5. This one is only allowed if you can eat at your desk. Let's say you have a banana to eat at your desk. Before you chow down, notice it. Think about its growth on the tree it grew on where it came from. Think about its journey. Notice anything about the banana that separates it from what a banana would look like in your mind, if anything. Now peel it, slowly. Notice the way the skin pulls apart. Finally eat it, and really think about the way it tastes. Challenges yourself to enjoy this snack as much as possible.

These five methods can be used throughout the day to take a few moments out and remove yourself from the deluge of inputs our minds deal with every day. Try them out a few times, and check out the blog if you enjoy!