Day 2 – Set up a mindfulness bell
A mindfulness bell is a technique which allows you to stop at intervals through the day, and pay attention to specific actions or things in full details. To practice this, choose a couple of ordinary activities that you do regularly. There's a list of suggestions below, but you can choose your own to fit the way you spend an ordinary day.
- Preparing food: If you're preparing dishes, whether ordinary meals or cooking ahead for Christmas celebrations, try and pay full mindful attention to all that you are doing. Christmas foods are often rich in flavours, smells and textures, but each activity and ingredient has its own qualities.
- Wrapping presents: Paper, scissors, ribbon, pens – you can focus on the sound and feel of the scissors as they slice through wrapping paper, or the feel of the paper itself. Take time to enjoy colour, scent and texture.
- Listening to friends: At any festive function you could choose the voice of a friend or colleague as a ‘bell' calling for full attention to what they are saying. Notice when you’re attention wanders and pay respect to the person and the activity of listening. Come back to the voice and hear what is being said.
Practicing breathing with the sound of the mindfulness bell
When you hear the sound of your mindfulness bell, try to focus on taking 3-10 breaths. Not forced, but just conscious breaths. Letting the belly expand on the in breath, and empty out on the out breath. To get the most out of this mini meditation, it is best to stop whatever you’re doing, and simply stand, or sit without getting distracted. Try doing this for a minute or so, or whenever the sound fades away. Just 10 relaxing breaths can help us feel energized again and feel refreshed.