This exercise is quick to perform and is an easy way to begin a regular mindfulness practice. The Three-Minute Breathing Space can be the perfect technique for people with busy lives and minds. The exercise is broken into three sections, one per minute, and works as follows:
The first minute: Answer the question, “How am I doing right now,” while focusing on the feelings, thoughts, and sensations that arise and trying to put them into words.
The second minute: Keep awareness on the breath while gently noticing when the mind wanders to thoughts and then easing back into sustained awareness of the breath.
The last minute: Expand your focus of attention on the breath while observing the sensation of the ins and outs of each breath and how it affects the rest of the body. It can be rather challenging to keep a quiet mind during this exercise and often thoughts pop up. The idea is not to block those thoughts, but rather just let them come into your mind and then disappear back out again. Try just to observe them.
Reflection: Describe your experience with The Three-Minute Breathing Space activity. Were you able to observe thoughts as they came into your mind and then allow them to disappear back out again? Discuss any mood or emotional responses you felt while doing this exercise. How could this activity be used within a human services organization to promote organizational effectiveness?