Because we accumulate so much stress, research points out that illnesses increasingly become a greater part of our life. However, a simple concept from the East – mindfulness – can bring healthy lifestyle changes if applied in daily living. Mindfulness is a simple Eastern approach to life, which Western medicine has now begun to recognize as a powerful tool for dealing with stress, illness and other medical or psychological conditions.


Many psychotherapists around the world are applying mindfulness based strategies and treating various psychological issues such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, emotional and interpersonal dyscontrol. The cultivation of mindfulness is a lifelong process Below are some helpful exercises to utilize.

Top 10 Mindfulness Exercises

  • Abdominal Breathing Exercise; Calming Breathing Exercise: Resource: Anxiety & Phobia workbook, Bourne.


  • Mindfulness in Three’s: Notice 1) breath one minute; 2) your hands for one minute; 3) sound around you for one minute – step through mindfulness in three’s with your singing bowl. Open your mind, expand your awareness in three’s.


  • Mindfulness in Relationships: (good to use during interpersonal effectiveness). To increase your mindfulness skills, each time you encounter a negative emotion in your relationship (for example, irritation, impatience, anger, lack of respect, etc.), practice applying the four step model: STOP, BREATHE, REFLECT, CHOOSE.


  • Hang one or more provocative pictures on the wall that trigger judgment and attempt to describe them with a non-judgmental stance.


  • The Peaceful Scene: Guided visualization. Resource: The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, Bourne.


  • Jelly Bean Mindfulness. Get some jellybeans in various flavors, sugar-free if needed. Have members close their eyes and choose a jellybean. Everyone puts on their tongue, and practices observe and describe skills silently over a period of a few minutes.


  • Mindfulness with DBT values: Good to use along side of teaching the fast skill. DBT values: Moral Responsibility, Understanding Truth, Accept a dialectical philosophy, Compassion, and Validating the invalid.


  • Acceptance: Reading from the Language of Letting Go, Melody Beattie. Good to use along side of teaching radical acceptance.


  • Write a Prayer or Silent Prayer: Good to use along side of teaching improve the moment. Focus is on radical acceptance of suffering and pain. The prayer writing is a way of accepting and letting go of suffering—similar to the Serenity Prayer.


  • Breath: Focus using your inhale as an energy source. Use the energy as a way to get through the individual session or skills group.