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The 8 Most Popular MBSR Exercises and Techniques

The website www.themindfulword.org provides an excellent outline of some of the most popular Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction exercises.

Mindfulness Techniques

As expected, mindfulness is heavily featured in MBSR techniques. While it’s easy to think of mindfulness as one certain state of mind, there are actually several different ways to practice or engage in mindfulness, with varying areas of emphasis.

Focus Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness with an emphasis on focus involves looking inward to observe what is happening in your mind. It can be described as “eyes on the road” in that there is a singular focus on one experience. To keep your focus, it can be helpful to use a particular stimuli (like breath) to keep yourself grounded in the moment (The Mindful Word, 2012).

Awareness Mindfulness

Unlike focusing, practicing awareness emphasizes the external instead of the internal. Awareness focuses on the mind as well, but from an outside perspective. When trying mindfulness from an awareness angle, try to view your mental activity as if it belonged to someone else.

In general, awareness mindfulness can be described as looking at your thoughts and feelings from outside of your usual self-centered experience, and observing your mind as a stream of consciousness without attaching judgment.

For an example of a simple awareness exercise, use the following guide:

“Start by taking your mind inwards for a moment by focusing on the breath. Take a few gentle deep breaths, from the belly. In and out. Re—lax… Let go…Continue to breathe for as long as you wish.