They’re a central pillar of our work and leisure lives. It’s so easy to get swept up in the subtly transportative nature of being engaged with a screen that we can forget to take breaks to pause and recharge.
Even if you never leave your desk (or have little time to spare), taking a moment for mindfulness can refresh your brain, replenish your faculties, and lead to better, happier work.
Here are three mindfulness micro-exercises that can be done in 30 seconds or less.
Exercise 1) Breath Bubble
Be there when you breathe.
Follow the bubble and bring your focus back to the simple act of breathing.
Purposeful, deep breathing delivers oxygen to your brain, dissolves stress, and offers a welcome reset.
Calm has a range of Breath Bubble sessions including, Relax, Balance, Restore, Focus, Energize, and Unwind. More breath bubbles here.
“We tend to feel this underlying current of urgency throughout our day. Taking brief moments to breathe mindfully often reveals that that urgency isn’t always necessary.” -Rose Nisker, Mindfulness Producer at Calm
Exercise 2) Quick Body Scan
Take a moment to scan your body.
Pick a spot on your body, any spot. As if you were using a microscope, focus your awareness on that area. Like a researcher, simply observe. What sensations arise? Register as precisely as you can all of the different feelings. Heaviness, tension, temperature, any pressure areas... Slowly move that zoomed-in focus throughout your body as if you were taking a tour.
Prefer guided body scans? Find ours here.
“Working at our desks, we’ll all take quick breaks by browsing on social media or the web. But these can almost be more like distracted trances rather than real breaks. When you take a quiet moment to pay attention to your body, it can be refreshing and rejuvenating. You resume work feeling like you’ve actually taken a break.” -Rose Nisker, Mindfulness Producer at Calm
Exercise 3) Pointed Awareness
Close your eyes and listen.
Press play and take a deep breath. Visualize the scene as it arises naturally. What do you see in the theater of your mind? Pay attention to the auditory details and let yourself take a moment’s break.
Find your calm place with more soundscapes here.
“Even if you don’t have an hour to meditate during the workday—sprinkling little minutes throughout can have a huge effect. You’ll go to bed and your mind won’t be racing as much because you gave yourself time to be without distraction.” -Rose Nisker, Mindfulness Producer at Calm
Re-fuel your mind.
Even on the busiest of workdays, moments of mindfulness are always available to you. When you’re feeling that post-meeting drain. When you can’t seem to focus on work and you’ve read the same sentence four times. When it seems like your creativity has been squeezed dry.
Taking 30 seconds to ground yourself and reset your mind can really help.
Give yourself the little gifts of increased focus, performance, and happiness. Be there for your best work. Take a deep breath—and learn more about how mindfulness can optimize your workday.