In today’s episode of The Edge we are going to teach you a mindfulness exercise called In The Room. This is a simple exercise that can be used to pull yourself out of your mind and back into your experience. Many times our minds are in the past with regret, guilt or shame. Or they are in the future with worry, anxiety or fear. We don’t spend a lot of our time, fully engaged in the present moment. In this exercise we teach you to do exactly that.
Step 1 : Notice It
Same as the Notice It, Name It, Neutralize It exercise we start with awareness. As one of my favorite teachers, Osho, says “Awareness is key to transformation.” We have to notice that our minds are not engaged. Without awareness we cannot change. And without change we cannot improve. While you can do this without a meditation practice, I find that a consistent meditation practice significantly increases your ability to practice mindfulness. The reason being, it creates a much higher level of self-awareness.
Step 2: Get In The Room
The second step is simple. Once you recognize that your thoughts are racing or you’re distracted, simply scan the environment you are and name each thing you see. If you’re in a basketball game look at the wood floor, the crowd, the bleachers, the scoreboard, etc. As you look at the floor say to yourself “floor” or “that’s the floor”. Just labeling the things you focus on can break the pattern of racing thoughts. Obviously this is an exercise that can be taken into the classroom, your office or before your next meeting. Simply focusing our attention on something outside of ourselves, releases our mind’s grip on the past or future thoughts, which are pulling us out of this moment.