Want a way to decompress at the end of your day? How about trying mindfulness to music? The following describes an exercise to direct and anchor your attention.
According to Lidia Zylowska in her book the Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD, when listening to music you have a choice in how you pay attention. You can listen intently to the changes in the sounds (focused attention) or you can allow the sounds to come and go (open attention).
Try this activity to observe how attention and awareness move in response to musical patterns.
Read through these directions to gain a preview of steps, then give it a try.
1. First, find a quiet, still place to lie down and listen, uninterrupted.
2. Perhaps (prepare this ahead of time) drape a cool washcloth dipped in lavender water on your forehead.
3. If it’s comfortable, close your eyes, or at least still your gaze.
4. Now, begin listening.
5. Next, notice any shifts in the music’s tempo or intensity, and listen to the different sounds. Notice the “dance” of the sounds.
6. As you listen, notice what happens to your attention and awareness. Also notice the following:
• Is the music evoking certain feelings, thoughts, or imagery for you?
• Does the music influence your body? Is there an urge to move?
• Does the music influence your breath?
• Is the music changing the speed of thoughts per second in the mind?
7. Continue listening and noticing thoughts, feelings, and body sensations, urges.
8. Practice maintaining awareness even as you allow yourself to become relaxed by the music.
9. Once the music ends, move slowly to your right side and press back up to seated. 10. Finally, place the cloth on the back of your neck. Inhale and exhale….