The LifeUp Mindfulness Challenge: Day 16

Listen to your body – It tells you when your attention has gone elsewhere!

FLOW: Focus, Listen, Observe, Watch

L is for LISTEN to your body – it tells you when your attention has gone elsewhere!


Your attention is a finite resource and when it gets overstretched, the body let's you know via physical feelings and sensations such as agitation, stress and impatience.

Without us realising it, our attention can often wander away from what we are actually doing. Often it wanders onto unhelpful thoughts. These may be thoughts you notice in your head, or subconscious ones that you don't. It is this 'thought chatter' that triggers the emotions and sensations of stress, worry and anxiety or just feeling rushed.

The sensation of rushing occurs more specifically when you are trying to get somewhere else, often to some ‘better’ situation. You live in such a way as if the present moment is an obstacle to overcome or a means to an end, or an enemy.  When you are ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there’ an anxiety gap opens up, and you feel rushed and stressed.

By listening to our body we can catch when our attention has wandered. We can become 'aware of where our attention is' and then refocus it to present moment awareness and thus get back into the flow.


When was the last time you listened to your body? Try it now with this exercise:

  • Are you feeling tense, irritated or agitated?  Anxious or stressed? Are you feeling rushed? Does your chest feel tight? Are you shallow breathing, breathing quickly or even holding your breath?
  • What is it that is taking/dividing your attention?
  • Can it wait, do you need to reflect on the priorities or deadlines you are setting yourself? Can you timebox what you are doing now?
  • Do you need to take a Thought Break or use one of the elements you’ve already discovered here at LifeUp, such as the DISARM or SPACE techniques?

Completed the activity? Make sure you give yourself a ‘mini high five’!

Take away

Your attention is limited and when it gets overstretched the body lets you know via physical feelings and sensations such as irritation, agitation, anxiety, stress and feeling rushed. Take a Thought Break or make SPACE to get back in the 'flow'.