Simple Mindfulness Exercises for Improved Focus
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


  1. Breathing exercise for focus
  2. Body scan technique
  3. Mindful listening practice
  4. Focus on the present moment
  5. Visualize your task
  6. Eating mindfully
  7. Mindful walking
  8. Engage in deep work
  9. Practice mindful meditation
  10. Keep a mindfulness journal

Do you find it challenging to stay focused on the task at hand? Or perhaps your mind seems to wander off to the worries of tomorrow or the happenings of yesterday? If so, you're not alone. Many people struggle with maintaining focus, especially in today's fast-paced, multitasking world. However, there's a simple solution to this common problem—mindfulness exercises for focus. These exercises can help you train your mind to stay present, focused, and engaged in whatever you're doing. Let's dive into these simple yet effective techniques.

Breathing Exercise for Focus

Let's start with a basic yet powerful exercise: mindful breathing. This is one of the most straightforward mindfulness exercises for focus that you can practice anywhere, anytime.

Here's how you do it:

  1. Find a comfortable spot: You could be sitting, standing, or even lying down—just make sure you're comfortable and your posture doesn't distract you.
  2. Close your eyes: This helps you tune out visual distractions and tune into your breath.
  3. Focus on your breath: Notice how the air feels as it enters your nostrils, fills your lungs, and then leaves your body. Pay attention to the rhythm of your breath—don't try to control it, just observe.
  4. Watch your thoughts: It's normal for thoughts to pop up. Instead of getting hooked by them, gently bring your attention back to your breath each time you notice your mind wandering.

Practicing this breathing exercise regularly can help you improve your focus tremendously. It's like a workout for your mind. The more you train it, the stronger it gets. So next time you find your mind wandering off, take a few moments to practice mindful breathing and watch your focus sharpen.

Body Scan Technique

Another excellent mindfulness exercise for focus is the body scan technique. This technique involves paying attention to different parts of your body, starting from your toes and working your way up to the top of your head.

Here's a simple way to practice the body scan technique:

  1. Begin at your feet: Close your eyes and draw your attention to your feet. Notice any sensations you might be feeling—perhaps the feel of your socks or shoes, the texture of the floor beneath you, or even any discomfort or tingling.
  2. Move upwards: Slowly shift your attention up to your ankles, then your calves, your knees, and so on. Take your time to really feel and acknowledge each part of your body.
  3. Observe without judgment: If you notice any pain, discomfort, or tension, don't try to change it. Simply observe it without judgment.
  4. Return to your breath: Whenever your mind wanders, gently guide it back to the part of the body you're focusing on, using your breath as an anchor.

By practicing the body scan technique, you can boost your ability to focus and tune out distractions. It's also a great way to become more in tune with your body, which can have numerous other benefits, such as improved physical awareness and stress relief.

Mindful Listening Practice

Ever find yourself tuning out someone’s conversation or a song playing in the background? We all do it. But here's an interesting fact: listening, really listening, can be a powerful mindfulness exercise for focus.

Mindful listening involves fully immersing yourself in the sounds around you, whether it's a person talking, birds chirping, or the hum of city traffic. It's about being present in the moment, without letting your mind wander to the past or future.

Here's a step-by-step guide to practicing mindful listening:

  1. Find a comfortable spot: A quiet place where you can sit and focus on the sounds around you is ideal. However, you can practice mindful listening anywhere, even in a noisy environment.
  2. Close your eyes: This helps reduce visual distractions, making it easier for you to concentrate on what you're hearing.
  3. Focus on the sounds: What sounds can you hear? Try to identify the source of each sound, and pay attention to its pitch, volume, and duration.
  4. Don't judge the sounds: Remember, the goal is to listen, not to label the sounds as good or bad or to analyze them. Just observe the sounds as they come and go.
  5. Return to your breath: If your mind starts to wander, gently bring your focus back to the sounds around you, using your breath as a guide.

Regularly practicing mindful listening can help improve your overall focus and attention to detail. Plus, you might find yourself discovering new sounds that you hadn't noticed before—a testament to the power of mindfulness exercises for focus!

Focus on the Present Moment

We've all been there. You're in the middle of a task, and suddenly, you find your mind wandering to that embarrassing thing you did five years ago or the daunting to-do list for tomorrow—sounds familiar, right? While it's perfectly normal for our minds to drift, it can be a hindrance to productivity. This is where mindfulness exercises for focus come to the rescue.

Focusing on the present moment is a simple yet effective mindfulness technique to improve your concentration. It's about grounding yourself in the "now," taking in your surroundings, and acknowledging your thoughts and feelings without judgment.

Here's how you can practice focusing on the present moment:

  1. Take a deep breath: Relax and take a deep breath in. As you breathe out, let go of any thoughts about the past or future and bring your attention back to the present.
  2. Notice your surroundings: What do you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel? Pay attention to these sensations without trying to change them or make them go away.
  3. Observe your thoughts: Acknowledge any thoughts that come into your mind. It's okay to have them, but don't let them take over. Imagine them as leaves floating down a stream, coming in and out of your view.
  4. Return to your breath: Whenever you feel your mind wandering, gently bring your focus back to your breath and the sensations in your body.

Remember, the goal isn't to empty your mind or stop your thoughts—it's about being fully engaged in the present moment. By focusing on the "now," you'll find it easier to handle distractions, boosting your productivity and making your tasks more enjoyable. After all, isn't it amazing what we can achieve when we're fully present and focused?

Visualize Your Task

When we talk about mindfulness exercises for focus, visualization is a technique you can't afford to miss. Visualization is a powerful tool used by many successful people, from athletes to entrepreneurs. It involves creating a mental image of a task or goal, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the upcoming activity.

So, how exactly does visualization work to improve focus? Let's dive in:

  1. Close your eyes and relax: Find a quiet place, sit comfortably, and close your eyes. Take a minute to breathe deeply and clear your mind.
  2. Imagine your task: Picture the task you want to focus on in your mind. If you're preparing a presentation, visualize yourself creating the slides, researching data, and rehearsing the talk.
  3. Include details: The more detailed your visualization, the better. See the colors, feel the emotions, hear the sounds. If you're visualizing writing a report, imagine the sound of your fingers typing, the feeling of satisfaction as sentences form, the sight of pages filling up.
  4. See the outcome: Now, visualize completing your task. Feel the pride and satisfaction. This can boost your motivation and make the task feel more achievable.

Visualization can make a big difference in your focus and productivity. By mentally rehearsing your tasks, you're setting the stage for actual performance. And who knows? You might even start looking forward to that task you've been dreading!

Eating Mindfully

Another great way to improve your focus is by practicing mindful eating. You might be asking, "What does eating have to do with focus?" Well, it's more about the act of being present and attentive. Mindful eating is one of the mindfulness exercises for focus that can help you cultivate the habit of paying attention, which can then be applied to other areas of your life.

Here's a simple guide on how you can practice mindful eating.

  1. Notice your food: Before you begin eating, take a moment to look at your food. Notice the colors, the smell, and the texture. This not only enhances the dining experience but also helps you to be present in the moment.
  2. Eat slowly: When we're in a rush, we often eat without really tasting our food. Take small bites and chew slowly. This prevents overeating and aids digestion, plus it lets you truly taste your food.
  3. Limit distractions: Try to eat without watching TV, scrolling through your phone, or reading a book. This helps you focus on the task at hand - eating - and makes it easier to notice when you're full.
  4. Appreciate your food: Think about where your food came from and the effort it took to get it on your plate. This simple act of gratitude can lead to a more mindful and positive mindset.

By practicing mindful eating, you're not just improving your relationship with food, you're also training your brain to stay focused and present in the moment — skills that can greatly benefit other areas of your life.

Mindful Walking

Do you remember the last time you took a walk without your mind racing with thoughts? Most of us don't. But, what if I told you that walking could be one of the most effective mindfulness exercises for focus? Here's how to do it.

  1. Choose your path: It doesn't have to be somewhere exotic. You can walk in a park, around your block, or even in your backyard. The key is to find a place where you can walk uninterrupted for a few minutes.
  2. Focus on your steps: Pay attention to each step you take. Feel your foot as it touches the ground and then lifts off again. Notice the rhythm of your steps and how it feels in different parts of your body.
  3. Take in your surroundings: Notice the sounds, smells, and sights around you. Do you hear birds chirping? Can you smell the fresh earth after rain? Do you see the leaves rustling in the wind?
  4. Return to your steps: If you find your mind wandering, bring your attention back to your steps. This is the core part of the exercise - not to have a blank mind, but to train it to return to focus when it wanders off.

Walking mindfully is not about reaching a destination, but about being fully engaged with every step you take. With regular practice, you'll notice an improvement in your ability to focus not only during the walk but in other aspects of your life as well.

Engage in Deep Work

While you might not associate work with mindfulness exercises for focus, it's an excellent opportunity to train your mind. Have you heard of the concept of 'deep work'? It's a state where you're fully immersed in a task, and it can be a powerful exercise for improving focus.

  1. Pick a task: Choose a task that requires a high level of concentration. It could be writing a report, solving a complex problem, or learning a new skill.
  2. Eliminate distractions: Turn off notifications on your devices, choose a quiet place, and tell others not to disturb you. The goal is to create an environment where you can focus without interruptions.
  3. Set a timer: Start with short periods of focused work—say, 25 minutes—and gradually increase the time as you get used to the exercise. Don't forget to take short breaks in between to rest your brain.
  4. Focus on the process, not the outcome: The aim of this exercise is to improve your focus, not to finish the task. So, don't worry if you don't complete the task in the allotted time. Just stay engaged and keep your mind on the task.

Engaging in deep work can be challenging at first, especially if you're used to multitasking. But with regular practice, you'll find it easier to slip into this state of deep focus, and you'll see a marked improvement in your productivity and quality of work.

Practice Mindful Meditation

When we think about mindfulness exercises for focus, meditation is often one of the first techniques that come to mind—and for good reason. The beauty of mindful meditation is that it doesn't require any special equipment or locations. All you need is a quiet spot and a few minutes of your time.

  1. Find a Comfortable Position: Sit on a chair, a meditation cushion, or a mat. You can also meditate lying down if you prefer. The key is to maintain a posture where you are comfortable yet alert.
  2. Focus on Your Breath: Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Notice how it moves in and out of your body, how your belly rises and falls with each breath. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the breath.
  3. Observe without Judgment: As you meditate, thoughts and feelings will arise. Instead of suppressing or engaging with them, simply observe them without judgment. The goal is to cultivate an attitude of acceptance and patience with your mind's activity.

Remember, when starting with mindful meditation, it's more important to establish consistency rather than duration. Even five minutes of daily meditation can be a great start to improving your focus. Over time, as your concentration improves, you can gradually increase the duration of your meditation sessions.

Keep a Mindfulness Journal

Ever thought about putting pen to paper as one of your mindfulness exercises for focus? Keeping a mindfulness journal can be a surprisingly effective way to improve your focus. It offers you a dedicated space to express your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, helping you stay present and focused.

  1. Start with a Simple Routine: You don't need to write a novel every day. Start small. Dedicate a few minutes each day to jot down your thoughts and feelings. It could be first thing in the morning or right before bed, whatever works best for you.
  2. Write Mindfully: This isn't about speed-writing or getting as many words down as possible. Instead, slow down. Pay attention to each word you write. Notice the sensation of the pen on the paper, the movement of your hand, the formation of letters. This is mindfulness in action.
  3. Reflect on Your Day: Use your journal to reflect on your day's experiences. What were the highs and lows? What did you learn? How did you feel? This practice helps you connect with your experiences on a deeper level, improving your focus and attention.

Remember, there's no right or wrong way to keep a mindfulness journal. The aim is to cultivate a deeper sense of awareness and focus in your daily life. So grab a notebook, take a deep breath, and let your pen guide you to a more mindful and focused you.

If you enjoyed learning about simple mindfulness exercises for improved focus, don't miss out on Andrea Orejarena's workshop, 'Mindfulness Practices to Unlock your Creativity.' This workshop will introduce you to mindfulness techniques specifically designed to help you enhance your creativity and unlock your full potential as an artist.