Hopefully over the past week, you were able to practice your mindfulness skills once a day for 10 minutes each.

Remember, the more you practice, the more effective this exercise will be in helping you to manage cravings and stressful times.

Mindful breathing and walking is your time to step out of automatic pilot.

A key step in being able to control your thoughts, especially your depressive thoughts, is to be able to control your attention on those thoughts — especially what you are paying attention to and the effect it has on your feelings and mood

You might be worried about “doing it wrong”.  There is no right or wrong way of practicing mindful breathing or walking, because it is all about being present in the moment. 

It doesn’t matter what feelings, thoughts or sensations you have — just let them come in, recognise them for what they are, and continue with the exercise.

You might have lost your concentration because of noises or people disturbing you.  Remember frustrations happen; as best you can don’t get caught up in them.  Just let your feelings, thoughts and these other noises come into your awareness, recognise them for what they are, and then continue with the exercise.

You might be worried about your mind wandering off during the exercise.  Just remember, this is what minds do — it is normal!  If this happens — and it doesn’t matter how often it happens — just see these wanderings for what they are — the mind doing what it does.  Once you notice your mind has wandered, just bring it back to the next moment and start from there.  Just be willing to start over again without worrying about it.

The other important thing to do is to add your mindfulness skills to your list of things you either enjoy or that give you a sense of achievement — you decide which list to put this activity on.  Then, remember to schedule it into your day using the Activity Log.

It is so important to continue to step out of your automatic pilot, and focus on what is happening to you at that particular moment.  Please continue to practice mindfulness skills for 10 minutes at least once a day between now and when you start Module 7.

To help you use your mindfulness skills, the next section of this module will teach you about Breathing Spaces — a quick 3-minute exercise that you can use to help step out of your automatic pilot.