15 Essential Mindfulness Exercises to Find Peace in the Everyday

15 Essential Mindfulness Exercises to Find Peace in the Everyday

Spread the love:

This article explores the top 15 Essential Mindfulness Exercises to Find Peace in the Everyday. Living mindfully requires a lot of practice. You don’t start with perfect awareness and attention.

First, you must understand what you are doing, why you are practicing, and how to practice. As you learn about the practices, try to apply them to your everyday life as much as you can. Mindfulness calls for action. It calls for personal investigation.

People all over the world discover mindfulness as a tool to help with anxiety, anger, grief, and many other difficult experiences humans go through. This ancient practice has evolved over millennia and is now more accessible than ever. Every day, we understand more about what it means to be mindful and how mindfulness impacts the brain.

By understanding what mindfulness is, how it may be beneficial in your life, and how to get started, you are laying a foundation for deep awareness and growth.

Also Read: Mindful Moods: Mindfulness Exercises, Techniques, And Tools to Help You Approach the Tough Days

15 Essential Mindfulness Exercises to Find Peace in the Everyday

Mindfulness Exercises #1: Tender Heart for Others

TIME: 15 Minutes

Humans are social creatures, which can be beautiful when we all get along. Other times, people can cause us harm or push our buttons. The heart builds a barrier, closing itself off slightly to protect us and ensure our safety and happiness. Instead of closing the heart, you can open the heart and train it to respond with care for those who frustrate you. This is a practice in loving-kindness and recognition of the harm caused.


  1. As you close your eyes and settle into a comfortable meditation posture, bring loving-kindness to the mind and body. Without straining, allow yourself to gently settle into present-time awareness.
  2. Bring somebody to mind whom you find difficult. If it is your first time using this exercise, try choosing somebody who’s just mildly challenging. It may be someone who pushes your buttons or whom you find frustrating for some reason.
  3. Reflect on the fact that this is a person who is subject to the emotional experiences of joy, love, sorrow, and grief, just like you. Start by picturing the person with a smile across their face.
  4. Begin offering a few phrases of appreciative joy, remembering that the intention with the practice is to open your own heart to care for this person’s happiness. Use these phrases:

May you be happy.

May your happiness continue.

Or, may I be happy for you?

5. After a few minutes, imagine this person experiencing pain or sorrow. Notice any response in your mind or body as you do so. Begin offering a few phrases of compassion for this person’s difficulties. It is okay if you do not feel these phrases entirely. Offer them as much as you’re able to at this moment.

May you be free from suffering.

I see your pain.

I care about your pain.

6. Finally, bring to mind what it is that you find difficult about the person. Tune in to the response of the mind and body as you bring the difficulty up. Respond with a few phrases of compassion for yourself, setting the intention to care for the unpleasant experience.

May I be free from suffering?

May I see my pain?

Or, may I respond with compassion?

Mindfulness Exercises #2: Forgiving faults

TIME: 15 Minutes

The word resentment comes from Latin roots. Its original meaning was “to feel again.” We all deal with resentments, holding on to harm that has been caused in the past. This is a painful experience. When you hold on like this, you feel the pain repeatedly.

Sometimes these resentments may feel like they offer security from future harm. But with forgiveness, you can free up space in the heart to allow love and care to take root.

The practice of forgiveness will help you let go of these painful experiences and offer freedom to the mind and heart.


  1. Find a comfortable meditation posture and invite gentleness into the body from the beginning. Notice any discomfort or tension in the body and try to soften around it.
  2. Bring to mind somebody you feel resentful toward. When new to this practice, don’t choose the strongest resentment in your heart. Instead, start where it’s a little bit easier. Notice the harm that was caused and why you feel resentful.
  3. Connect to cultivate an open and loving heart. If there is resistance, notice its presence without pushing it away. It takes time to reopen the heart, so don’t force anything.
  4. Begin offering phrases of forgiveness, connecting with the words as much as you are able. Say a phrase slowly in your head, finding a rhythm. It may be helpful to offer a phrase with each exhales or with every other exhale. Use these phrases:

I forgive you [or I forgive you as much as I can at this moment].

May I let this pain-free itself from my heart?

5. After six or seven minutes of offering forgiveness, let go of these phrases. Turn toward yourself, recognizing that you, too, have caused harm to others. You don’t need to engage in stories about the harm you have caused; just recognize that you have indeed caused difficulties for others, whether you intended to or not. Call to mind a specific person you have hurt. Begin asking for forgiveness from this person, using these phrases:

I ask for forgiveness for any harm I have caused you.

May you find room in your heart to forgive me.

May you forgive one another.

6. Allow five minutes to pass, and return to your own body. Breathe deeply for a few minutes, resting your awareness on the breath before opening your eyes.

Safety and Forgiveness

When you work on forgiveness, it may feel like you are being weak or opening yourself up to future harm. Remember that forgiveness does not require you to let somebody back into your life, to let them cause harm again, or to be okay with somebody’s actions. You can let go of the resentment while still retaining healthy boundaries. A forgiving heart sets boundaries out of self-care, while a resentful heart sets boundaries out of fear.

Mindfulness Exercises #3: RAIN

TIME: 20 Minutes

I’m not sure where this practice originated, but I learned it during my teacher training with psychologist and meditation teacher Tara Brach. RAIN stands for Recognize, allow (or Accept), Investigate, Nourish. This is one of my go-to practices. You can use it with any experience, make it a stand-alone meditation practice, and return to it with ease in daily life. It is especially helpful with difficult emotions and thoughts.


  1. Sit comfortably and begin bringing your awareness to your present-time experience. Give yourself a minute or two after closing your eyes to notice what you hear, what you feel in the body, and what is occurring in the mind.
  2. Bringing up a difficult experience or emotion, start with recognition. Recognize the thoughts coming up, the sensations in the body, and the critical inner voice you often hear. Spend a few minutes just acknowledging the presence of the difficulty, tuning in to the different ways it manifests in your experience.
  3. Move to the next phase: allowance or acceptance. With unpleasant emotions, the habit of the mind is to try to get rid of these experiences. Instead, allow it to be present in you. You may try offering this simple phrase of equanimity and acceptance: “Right now, it’s like this.” Continue to work with acceptance for five minutes, bringing the mind back when it starts pushing the difficulty away.
  4. Now begin investigating more deeply. You recognized what you were feeling in the first step of RAIN. In the investigation, allow curiosity to take over. Ask yourself where you feel vulnerable, how this emotion serves you, and if you believe you can be free from this pain.
  5. For the final five minutes, turn toward nourishing yourself with self-compassion. This whole exercise has been a practice of self-compassion, as you are tending to the pain with awareness rather than denying it. However, make a dedicated effort to offer a few phrases of compassion and open the heart.

NON-IDENTIFICATION: Another common use of the final N in RAIN is non-identification. Although not as heartfelt as the word nourish, it offers a powerful practice, as well. You can move through the practice as described, but when you get to the end, practice letting goes of the experience. Recognize that this thought or experience is not you, or even yours. It is an impermanent process, arising and passing as all experiences do. Let it go.

Mindfulness Exercises #4: 5-4-3-2-1

TIME: 5 Minutes

When you are in the throes of overwhelming emotion, it can hook you in completely. Mindfulness practice helps you notice when this happens. When you do notice you are feeling overwhelmed, you can use this exercise to bring yourself back to the here and now. It takes just a few minutes and extends an invitation to be present.


  1. Leaving the eyes open, notice five things you can see. You can say them out loud or silently in your head. With each of the five sights, pause to take them in completely.
  2. Next, notice four things you can feel in the body. Note them out loud or in your head, and rest your attention with each sensation for a few deep breaths.
  3. Name three things you can hear. Try to choose three different sounds, not the same noise three times.
  4. Note two things you can smell. If you cannot seem to smell two things at this moment, feel free to move somewhere to smell something more closely.
  5. Finally, find one thing you can taste. It may be the leftover taste of a meal, your toothpaste, or just your breath. If you cannot connect with one at the moment, note a taste you enjoy in general.

Mindfulness Exercises #5: You Can Handle This

TIME: 10 Minutes

You are capable of handling more than you give yourself credit for. difficult emotions may sometimes get the better of you, but they always pass, and you always make it through them. By bringing mindfulness to the process of going through hard times, you can train yourself to recognize your resilience. Seeing clearly that you are capable of handling the difficulty, you will train the mind to know you are okay.


  1. Close your eyes and adjust your posture so that you are comfortable. Ground yourself in the body, feeling the feet on the floor, the body in the chair or cushion, and the movement with the breath.
  2. Bring to mind a difficult emotion you have experienced recently. Do not indulge in the story. Instead, focus on the feeling. You can do this by tuning in first to the body. What does the body feel like when this emotion is present?
  3. Feeling the emotion in the body, investigate your capacity to be with it. What feels overwhelming or unmanageable? Ask yourself if you can handle the feeling in this single moment. Continue to tend to the bodily experience, examining whether you’re able to be present with it or not.
  4. After a few minutes, move your attention to the mind and mental state. When this emotion is present, what is the mind doing? Notice the thoughts that arise and the general feeling of the mind. Again, ask yourself if anything arising is too much for you to handle.
  5. For the final two minutes, reflect on the pains and difficulties you have gone through over your life. Through small frustrations and larger experiences of grief and tragedy, you have made it to this moment, today. Recognize your natural resiliency, remembering that you are, indeed, capable.

Mindfulness Exercises #6: Having a Bad day

TIME: 15 Minutes

We all have those days when nothing seems to be going our way. You may be feeling under the weather, emotionally exhausted, or overwhelmed with responsibilities. labeling the day as a “bad day” may feel right, but it is often inaccurate—no day is 100 percent bad; there is almost always something good, however small.

You can train the mind to recognize both the good and the bad, helping you see clearly that there are likely also pleasant moments during the day and that none of these moments is permanent. When you do have painful moments, you can respond with compassion and rewrite the story of the day.


  1. This practice works well when you are in the midst of a difficult day. Find a quiet place and a few minutes to sit in silence.
  2. Closing the eyes, begin by settling into the body. Feel yourself sitting still, the connection of the body with the chair or cushion, and the movement in the body related to breathing.
  3. Bring to mind something difficult you have experienced today. Use a specific event, a general feeling, or whatever arises naturally in the mind.
  4. As the feeling of your “bad day” arises, pay attention to what that experience is like. Notice if there is a feeling in the body or any thought processes in the mind. Steer clear of picking it apart too much; instead, tune in to the overall experience and emotion. Ask yourself how it feels to be having a tough time today.
  5. With awareness of how this feels, begin offering yourself some compassion. Retain some awareness of the experience in the mind and the body. You can silently offer these phrases:

This is a moment of pain [or difficulty, discomfort, or suffering].

May I tend to this pain with caring awareness?

6. After five minutes of offering compassion to yourself, let go of the phrases. Bring something to mind that has brought you joy or contentment today. See if you can find a moment in which you weren’t enveloped by the discomfort or pain. It may be when you first woke up, a nice conversation with a friend or coworker, or the time you were eating lunch and not focused on the difficulties.

7. As something comes to mind, connect with how the experience felt. Recognize that although you may be having a hard day, here is a moment of freedom from the pain. Offer the simple phrase “May I appreciate this moment.”

8. Continue bringing to mind other times in which you experienced some contentment during your day. As each new one comes up, sit with it for a few deep breaths and repeat the phrase. As you run low on pleasant experiences, look for the neutral moments in your day.

9. As you finish the practice, reflect for a minute on the whole of your day. Without denying your own experience of having a bad day, also recognize that the entire day was not unpleasant. Tune in to the fact that many moments were pleasant or neutral.

Mindfulness Exercises #7: Liking Yourself

TIME: 10 Minutes

The self-talk you engage in regularly is often unkind. You beat yourself up, hold yourself to unrealistic standards, and focus on how to always be better. With mindfulness, you can tune in to this voice and acknowledge these thoughts. You can also learn to tune in to the things you like about yourself. Even if they aren’t obvious in every moment, there are parts of you that you like.

In this type of mindfulness exercises, you will bring your awareness to these aspects of yourself to offer a more complete picture of who you are.


  1. Close the eyes and find a comfortable posture in which to sit. Bring your awareness to the sensation of the body breathing. You can focus on the chest, abdomen, or nostrils. For the first few minutes, allow the mind to settle and focus by returning your attention to the breath as many times as necessary.
  2. Once the mind has settled, begin by bringing something to mind that you appreciate about yourself. Start with the body. Ask yourself what you like about your body, and just pause to appreciate it for a moment. It may be a physical feature, like your hair or skin, or it may be a quality, like strength or flexibility. As something arises, stay with the experience of liking this part of yourself for a few breaths.
  3. After a minute or two of working with the body, switch to the mind. Look at the qualities of your brain and emotional experience. Ask yourself what you appreciate about your brain, your insight, and your personality. Again, simply be with the appreciation when something arises.
  4. For the last few minutes, focus on the five traditional senses: sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch. Go through each sense, recognizing the beauty and pleasure these senses have brought you. For example, recognize that your sense of hearing has allowed you to hear the voice of a loved one. The sense of touch has allowed you to feel the comfort of a hug. Be with each sense, what gifts it brings you, and the appreciation.

Acknowledging The Critic

Whether it is during this practice or in your daily life, you may notice your inner critic running background commentary on your present experience. Remember that you don’t have to believe every thought you have, and the more you can bring that background noise into the light, the less power it will have.

Try thanking the thought for its input and then leaving it be. don’t push it away; allow it to arise and pass on its own. Mindfully recognize the thoughts that come up, and be grateful to yourself for getting familiar with your thought patterns.

Mindfulness Exercises #8: Recognizing Needs

TIME: 15 Minutes

When you begin tuning in mindfully to your experience, you may also start to notice your difficulties and struggles. Part of mindfulness is recognizing what you need in these moments. I invite you to respond in a way that promotes your well-being and freedom and not in a way that perpetuates your pain and suffering.

This type of mindfulness exercises usually offers a concrete way to pause and look at your needs in a given moment.


  1. Sit up as straight as you are able, and gently close your eyes. For this practice, it is helpful to start with a few minutes of concentration practice to truly settle. Pick a location in the body where you can feel the body breathing, and tune in to the sensations of the breath for a couple of minutes.
  2. Bring to mind a recent situation that you found difficult or painful. Without falling too far into the story, acknowledge how this experience feels in the present moment.
  3. With the memory and experience present in your consciousness, ask yourself what you needed at that moment. Focus on general emotional needs, like compassion, understanding, and insight. With this difficulty, what would have helped you? When a need pops up, say to yourself, “I needed _______.” Continue to tune in to other needs, really pausing to acknowledge each one.
  4. After five minutes, turn your awareness to your experience in the present. Refraining from stories and goals, ask yourself what you need right now. Let go of thoughts about getting stuff done, completing tasks, and pleasing others. Focus on your deeper needs of self-care, patience, or whatever is true for you at this moment.
  5. Wrapping up this exercise, reflect on your capacity to meet your needs. Can you do something to meet those needs right now? Are there any needs you have that are not within your power to fulfill? Offer yourself self-care, compassion, and patience.

Mindfulness Exercises #9: Self-supporting

TIME: 15 Minutes

As the mind and body take cues from one another, we can use our own hands to encourage states of ease and comfort. The basic premise is that the human body responds to touch, and touch can change the activity in the nervous system. I recommend familiarizing yourself with these practices, then utilizing them in your daily life when you need a way to calm down.


  1. Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Breathe deeply through the nostrils, allowing the lungs to fully empty with the exhale. Continue breathing deeply for a minute.
  2. Spend a few minutes bringing awareness to the body at this moment. Without changing or fixing anything, observe what is present. Notice what physical sensations you can feel and where you can feel them. Try to drop your awareness out of your head and down into the body.
  3. Begin supporting yourself by bringing one of the hands to the top of the opposite arm, just below the shoulder. Gently rest the hand here to offer yourself support. This is a place of support in the human body. Allow yourself to feel the care and support you have for yourself. Tune in to any relaxation in the mind or body.
  4. After a few minutes, release the hand. Take a few deep breaths and bring the hand to the back of the head, where the spine meets the skull. This is a place where you were held and supported as an infant, and it can offer a sense of safety and ease. As you gently rest the hand here, allow the body to feel safe and comfortable.
  5. Allowing a few minutes to pass, move the hand to the center of the chest. This stimulates the vagus nerve, releasing oxytocin and engaging the parasympathetic nervous system. Allow the hand to rest here, feeling care for yourself as you relax the body and mind.
  6. After a couple of minutes with the hand on the chest, allow the hand to relax once again. Let a few minutes pass while you breathe and invite relaxation to the mind and body before opening your eyes.

BRINGING THIS PRACTICE TO LIFE: You can use any of these practices in daily life whenever you are struggling. They are especially helpful when you are feeling overly activated. This may be from anxiety, stress, anger, or any other emotional experience that gets the nervous system going. Recognizing this with mindfulness, you can respond with these acts of self-compassion. Take a moment to rest your hand on your upper arm to support yourself.

Mindfulness Exercises #10: The Pelvis Bowl

TIME: 10 Minutes

There are many ways you can settle the mind down when it becomes active. This type of mindfulness exercises is the one I use frequently to encourage relaxation in the mind and body when I am overwhelmed. You may use it as a stand-alone practice, to return to the body during the day, or at the beginning of a meditation, period to help yourself settle.


  1. Allow the eyes to close, and sit with the spine as straight as possible. Use the breath to encourage a gentle awareness. With the inhalation, reach the spine upward. With the exhalation, let go. Let the shoulders drop, relax the jaw, and soften the belly.
  2. After a minute or two of breathing like this, turn your attention to the pelvis and hips. Picture this part of the body as a bowl. As you exhale, allow all of the body’s energy to slowly fall into the bowl. Feel the stability of the bowl sitting on the chair or cushion, and let the body relax into this bowl.
  3. Continue with your awareness of the pelvis, allowing the body to relax. After the snow globe has been shaken, it takes time and patience to let each snowflake settle. As you sit, allow the body to relax and settle with patient awareness. With each exhale, allow the body to soften.

Mindfulness Exercises #11: Where Is My Mind?

TIME: 15 Minutes

simply by bringing awareness to the mind, you naturally detach from its thoughts and meanderings. When you observe your thoughts, you naturally create separation from them, because you see that they often arise on their own. In this way, you are not as likely to get sucked into each thought. You can notice individual thoughts, overarching mental states, or how active or dull the mind is in any given moment.

This practice offers yet another way to understand the thinking mind. You will use a simple noting exercise to look at where the mind is as thoughts arise. Rather than focusing on the content of the thoughts themselves, you will tune in to their general context.


  1. Close the eyes and adjust the body to find a comfortable and sustainable posture. As you will be working with thoughts, it is helpful to dedicate the first five minutes to building concentration. Choose a place in the body and rest the awareness on the breath. When the mind wanders, simply bring it back with kindness to the experience of breathing.
  2. Open your awareness to the mind and thought processes. Using the breath as your anchor, stay with the sensation of breathing until a thought comes up. When you notice a thought arise, note what its general context is. Rather than tuning in to the specifics of the thought, note whether it is rumination, problem-solving, fantasizing, or another thinking pattern.
  3. When you recognize you are thinking, note the thought and return to the breath. Patiently sit with the body breathing, waiting for another thought to arise. Again, note what the thought is in general without diving into specifics or getting wrapped up in it.
  4. After five minutes or so, you may consider adding in an additional piece. Note whether the thought is about the past, present, or future. Without labeling one as good or another as bad, just note where the mind is.
  5. As you come out of this practice, try to retain some awareness of the thinking mind. Going about daily tasks, recognize when the mind is off and wandering. Try noting where the mind is when you see this happening.

Mindfulness Exercises #12: Kindness with Thoughts

TIME: 15 Minutes

You may notice that your response to the mind and its thoughts are not always rooted in kindness and gentleness. Traditionally, loving-kindness is practiced toward a person (even if that person is yourself), but you can direct this same sentiment toward the mind itself.

With practice, you can learn to respond to the mind with greater acceptance. This type of mindfulness exercises usually helps you see more clearly and not get caught up in reacting to every thought.


  1. Sit in a way that feels healthy and conducive to mindfulness. Listen to your body and make any adjustments to find a comfortable posture.
  2. As with the previous exercise, begin with a few minutes of concentration practice. Bring your attention to the body breathing, and gently train the mind to focus.
  3. Open up to your thoughts. Keeping your awareness of the breath as your anchor, simply notice when a thought arises. You may label it or note its contents, but focus on responding to it with gentleness. Whether the thought is pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral, try to bring some patience to the thinking mind.
  4. When a thought arises, offer a phrase of loving-kindness toward the mind and the thought. You may try using one of these phrases:

May I be at ease with the mind?

May I be at ease with this thought?

The thinking mind, gentle mind.

5. Reconnect to respond to your thoughts with kindness over and over again. When the mind wanders off, just come back to the breath and pay attention when a thought comes up. Gently offer a phrase of loving-kindness and return to your desire to be at ease with the mind. You may even try offering a phrase to the wandering itself.

6. When you complete this practice, make a dedicated effort to carry it with you during your day. Pause and offer the mind and thoughts a few phrases of loving-kindness when you’re waiting in line, walking to your car, or checking the mail.

Mindfulness Exercises #13: The strong You

TIME: 10 Minutes

I lived for a few years across from a building covered in street art by the Los Angeles artist Chase. He uses the slogan “Remember who you are” on many of the pieces he creates, a beautiful reminder to reconnect with who you are underneath all the stories. Every day when I walked past the art-covered building, I used it as a cue to reconnect with myself.

This type of mindfulness exercises usually offers a way to deeply reconnect. Although it is not a traditional mindfulness practice, you can use it to remember who you are, especially when you forget.


  1. Sitting in a comfortable posture, close the eyes and take a few deep breaths through the nostrils.
  2. Imagine yourself in a difficult situation. It may be something coming up that is bringing some fear or anxiety or something you went through in the recent past. Recognize any fear or aversion that is present as you bring this event to mind. Maybe you want to ask for a raise, need to have a difficult conversation with a loved one, or have an upcoming appointment that is bringing some worry.
  3. Rather than playing out the story in your head, ask yourself what the strongest version of yourself would do and how they would handle it. Picture your strong self-handling the situation with complete kindness, care, mindfulness, patience, and wisdom.
  4. As you visualize this situation in your head, make a special effort to notice the strength within you. Allow yourself to feel strong and confident. When you begin doubting yourself, return to the strong you. Reconnect with your intentions of wisdom and compassion in the face of difficulties.
  5. You can continue with one experience, playing it multiple times. You can also try working with a different situation or event. Continue to connect with the strength you have within you. Remember to breathe deeply and watch for any anxiety and worry.
  6. When you finish this practice, you may try writing about your experience. Writing after this exercise gives you a crystallized look at yourself as the strong you, and can help clarify how you can handle painful experiences.

ACTING OUT OF STRENGTH: When the situation arrives and it is time for you to go into the difficulty, remember who you are. Reconnect with the strength you for a few moments. You can close your eyes and quickly return to your visualization for a few moments to connect with the mindfulness, compassion, and wisdom you intend to bring to your life. Remind yourself that you are capable of meeting this situation with wisdom.

Mindfulness Exercises #14: Space for feeling

TIME: 10 Minutes

It’s common to tighten around your discomfort. You tense the body when you are struggling, trying to rid yourself of the unpleasantness. Instead of tightening, you can make room for the pain. Welcoming it in and meeting it with a caring presence, you have the power to retrain the mind. This helps you build a nonreactive awareness. Rather than being controlled by every challenging situation, you can notice it, allow it to be present, and move forward.


  1. For this practice, find a comfortable position. You may investigate doing this exercise sitting or lying down.
  2. Give yourself a few minutes to settle. Breathe deeply, allowing the mind and body to relax with each exhale. Without ignoring the unpleasantness, invite in calmness.
  3. Pay attention to the painful emotion you are experiencing. Don’t fall into the story. Recognize how the mind and body feel right now. Ask if it is sadness, fear, frustration, or disappointment. Just notice the general tone and experience you are feeling.
  4. Begin making space for the emotion by offering a few phrases of compassion. Remember your intention to care for the pain rather than push it away. Offer these phrases to the pain or difficulty:

You are welcome here.

There is space for you.

May I welcome you with compassion?

5. Continue to offer the phrases for five minutes or so, reconnecting with your intention to tend to the experience with an open and caring heart.

6. As you wrap up, return to the breath for a minute or two. With each exhale, soften the body. Let the shoulders drop down, allow the jaw to relax, and soften the muscles in the abdomen.

Mindfulness Exercises #15: Letting Go of fixing

TIME: 10 Minutes

When there is discontentment, the natural habit is to correct it. The mind goes into “fix-it” mode. This often results in circular thinking, trying in vain to solve a problem. Although reflection and goal setting is useful, the obsession you experience is often not.

This mindfulness exercises offer a technique to work with this “fix-it” thinking. You can use it in formal meditation practice and return to it at any point during your day when you notice the mind stuck on a loop of problem-solving.


  1. Sit up as straight as possible, inviting alertness into the mind and body. Take a few deep breaths, energizing the body.
  2. Begin to tune in to your thoughts. What problem are you working to solve? Is there something specific you want to figure out or fix? Notice the issue itself, not your thoughts about it. Try to see what the problem is, rather than focusing on the solution.
  3. With the “problem” in your mind, notice any discomfort you feel around it. There may be some fear of the unknown, insecurity, or a desire to plan something. Whatever your experience is, look at the issue with tender awareness. There’s no need to judge yourself, beat yourself up, or jump right into fixing. Just be with the discomfort.
  4. As you rest in the awareness of the problem to be solved, begin tuning in to the mind and body. Is there tension in the body? Notice where it is. Recognize when the mind jumps in to the desire to fix the discomfort by saying to yourself, “Fixing.”
  5. To meet your experience with patience, offer yourself a few phrases of mindful care:

I see this discomfort.

The mind wants to fix it.

May I be with this problem?

6. To close this meditation, take a minute to ask yourself what can be done. You don’t need to come up with a clear, step-by-step plan. Just offer the simplest solution possible. For example, if you’re worried about bills, recognize that you may need to save some money. Allow a basic solution to arise, and don’t dive more deeply into the story.

Related: Mindfulness Exercises to Improve Your Mental Health

Spread the love:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *