Mindfulness – not just focusing on your breath

Grace Cook RMN, MSc, BSc (Hons) - Practice Development Facilitator

Grace Cook, FoNS Practice Development Facilitator

I have been thinking, and talking, a lot recently about mindfulness. I have noticed that when it’s discussed, there can be a sense of ‘it’s not for me’ and it’s ‘a bit wishy washy’. I have also observed that people can worry about facilitating it in case they receive the same reaction from others.

Grounding (a form of mindfulness) is an essential part of the Resilience Based Clinical Supervision (RBCS) process. A mindfulness-based exercise is done at the start of each session to enable individuals to bring their focus into the session. It also supports individuals to access the affiliative emotional regulation system (For more information please look at our clinical supervision resources).

There is lots of evidence out there that mindfulness is beneficial for health and wellbeing. The most common image of this seems to be of someone sat, eyes closed, and being fully focused on their breath. The Oxford Mindfulness Centre defines it as ‘paying our attention to our experience in the present moment’.

What brings our attention to the present moment is incredibly individual. For some it may be a breathing exercise, for others it may be something more practical such as making an origami swan. Mindfulness is anything that involves you being present.

And in reality, when individuals look like they are fully focusing on only their breath they are likely not. Our minds wander all the time, it is part of being human. The practice of mindfulness is noticing that and (gently and kindly) bringing your attention back to what you were doing before.



I try to do something mindful at least once a day and my favourite ways of being in the present moment are:

  • Cuddling my dog (when he’ll let me)
  • Bread making
  • Guided imagery
  • Going for a walk in nature and using all of my senses
  • Listening to music (my favourite piece is – Yiruma – River Flows in You – YouTube)
  • Yoga
  • Spending time with others and really connecting (phones away!)

I would love to hear your thoughts on mindfulness and what activities help you be in the present moment.

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