Meditation may be the classic way of cultivating mindfulness, but it’s not the only way. If you’re not into meditation, try noticing instead.
Mindfulness pioneer Ellen Langer, PhD, has described mindfulness as “the simple act of actively noticing things.” Another way to learn to experience present-moment awareness is the “Notice Five Things” exercise.
It’s as simple as it sounds:
- Pause for a moment.
- Look around and slowly and intentionally notice five objects or things you can see. You might say to yourself, “I see a desk,” “I see a book,” etc.
- Listen carefully and notice five sounds you can hear.
- Notice five things you can feel against the surface of your body — for example, the floor under your feet, your watch against your wrist, your hair against your neck.
The idea is just to center yourself and connect to your environment — to get out of your head and into the present.