Photo credit: mikecogh via Visual Hunt CC BY-SA
Photo credit: mikecogh via Visual Hunt CC BY-SA

Living with cancer can mean that you experience all types of thoughts, feelings and sensations. Mindfulness exercises can help you to identify, tolerate and reduce difficult feelings and give you some control. They can also help improve your mental wellbeing and help you relax. Try our five simple exercises below that only take ten minutes each.

Mindful Breathing

The goal of this exercise is to allow your thoughts and feeling to come and go without them overpowering you. Sit in a comfortable place and keep your spine reasonably straight. Pay attention to the in-breath and the out-breath. If your mind starts to drift to others thoughts bring your mind back to your breathing

Mindful Body

The goal of this exercise is to relax your body and mind for a good nights’ sleep. Start by imagining your brain leaving your head and travelling through your body to one of your feet. Once there, imagine your toe and foot muscles tightening and then relaxing. Then imagine taking your brain up to your calf, knee and thigh, stopping in each place to tense and relax your muscles. Repeat this with your other leg, arms and torso. You limbs should start to feel heavy and you should sink in the mattress ready for a peaceful nights sleep.

Mindful Listening

The goal of this exercise is to help you relax and be in the present. Choose a piece of music you have never listened to but that you are interested in. Close your eyes and use headphones if you can. Don’t think about the type of music you are listening to or who is playing it. Just listen and allow yourself to become in involved in the music.

Mindful Observation

The goal of this exercise is to connect you with the beauty of the natural environment. Pick a flower, look out at the clouds, focus on anything natural within your immediate environment. Look at it as if it is for the first time and visually explore it. Allow yourself to just ‘be’.

Mindful Concentration

The goal of this exercise is to increase your ability to concentrate. Light a candle, it could be one with your favourite scent. Stare at the candle flame for ten minutes, looking at the flame. When your mind wanders, became of aware of where it is going and bring it back to the candle flame.



  1. Nicki Ferguson on

    Thank you for such brilliant mindfulness exercises, I will try them out....

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