One-Minute Mindfulness: Transform Your Day in Just 60 Seconds

One-Minute Mindfulness

Written by Dr. Paul Kelly, C.Psych.              April 21, 2024

One-Minute Mindfulness is easy.

Refresh your brain, boost your mood, and enjoy the moment.

Don’t miss out. Check out this article.


Table of Contents


What is One-Minute Mindfulness?

One-minute mindfulness involves simple, quick exercises. You focus your attention on the present moment. Notice your thoughts and worries without staying caught up in them. You focus instead on the here and now.

Notice sensations or something you are grateful for. These techniques can help you ground yourself. You can get out of your head and into your life. You can live your life more fully.


The Power of a Single Minute

In just 60 seconds, mindfulness exercises can help you to:

  • Reduce stress: A quick pause can decrease anxiety and stress, resetting your emotional state.
  • Boost focus: By clearing your mind, even briefly, you’re better able to concentrate on the tasks at hand.
  • Increase energy: Refreshing your mind for a minute can help you find your energy reserves.


How to Practice One-Minute Mindfulness

Here are three easy exercises that you can do anywhere, anytime, all in just one minute:

1. Box Breathing

One-Minute Mindfulness: Box Breathing

Box breathing involves slow, deep breaths. It improves concentration and helps you manage stress. It is popular with athletes and emergency responders. Give it a try. It can help you ground yourself. It can also lower your heart rate and reduce your blood pressure.



  1. Sit comfortably or stand. If you prefer, gently close your eyes.
  2. Inhale slowly through your nose, counting silently to four.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of four.
  4. Exhale slowly through your mouth, counting to four again.
  5. Hold your breath for a count of four while your lungs are empty.
  6. Repeat this cycle for one minute.


2. Sense Bathing

Sense Bathing

This exercise brings you back to the present moment in a wholesome way. Put your phone down while you do it so you can really focus. Dr. Norman Farb has shown that this exercise can change your brain and boost your mental and physical health.


  1. Select one of your senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, or smell.
  2. Spend one minute noticing what comes to you with this sense. Listen to sounds and how they change. Put a bit of honey or fruit in your mouth, and notice how the taste changes. Look at the sky and enjoy the changing cloud patterns.
  3. Don’t get caught up in ‘good or bad.’ Just appreciate the experience for what it is.


3. Gratitude Reflection

Gratitude Reflection

If you end the day with a brief gratitude meditation, you will sleep better and have more pleasant dreams. Life satisfaction is mostly about the little things. When you review your day and focus on something with gratitude, you are creating an important mindset for yourself.


  1. Breathe in slowly and feel the breath enter your body.
  2. Think of one thing you are grateful for today— perhaps a warm cloth on your face, a nod from a coworker, or the taste of your herbal tea.
  3. Focus on this experience. Appreciate it as a small blessing in your day.
  4. Hold the focus for a minute if you can. Put your hand on your heart, bow your head, and say thanks for this moment in your life.


Tips for Success with One-Minute Mindfulness

Many people have told me they are surprised at how good it feels to start a one-minute mindfulness habit. How can something this simple be such a blessing? Give it a try for a week and see for yourself.

Start by doing it when you have a calm moment. Later, try it when you notice that you are stressed. If you do a mindful moment when you are stressed, you will be able to reset yourself and then deal more effectively with your situation or feeling.

  • Set Reminders: It’s easy to forget to take a mindfulness minute during a busy day. Set reminders on your phone or computer to prompt you.
  • Be Consistent: Try to practice one-minute mindfulness at the same time each day to establish a routine.
  • Adjust As Needed: Feel free to modify these exercises to better fit your needs and preferences.


A Personal Note

I started to meditate when I was 20. I meditated for 45 minutes with Zen Buddhists. Later, I trained with Vipassana and Tibetan teachers. With them, I meditated for an hour. I have also done meditation retreats where I meditated 10 hours daily for up to a month. This approach to meditation came out of Asian monastic traditions. It is valuable, but it is not for everyone.

I have learned that brief mindfulness exercises can have real benefits. It took me a while to get my head around this idea – I was so used to thinking that one hour was the ‘basic unit.’ It is great to know that brief mindfulness exercises can be so useful. Now, my therapists and I at The Mindfulness Clinic teach these brief self-help techniques to our clients. People use them and benefit from them. I encourage you to give it a try.



It is important to me that I give you practical and trustworthy information. That is why I personally selected and reviewed all the sources for this article. My advice is also based on my experience practicing and teaching mindfulness to patients and therapists. We track progress at The Mindfulness Clinic, so I know these brief mindfulness exercises are worth doing.

  • Howarth, Ana, et al. Effects of brief mindfulness-based interventions on health-related outcomes: A systematic review. Mindfulness(2019) 10:1957-1968. Retrieved from:
  • Schumer, M. C., Lindsay, E. K., & Creswell, J. D. (2018). Brief mindfulness training for negative affectivity: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 86(7), 569–583. Retrieved from:
  • Konrad, A.C., Engert, V., Albrecht, R. et al.A multicenter feasibility study on implementing a brief mindful breathing exercise into regular university courses. Scientific Reports, 13, 7908 (2023).
  • Altman, Donald. One minute mindfulness. New World Library, 2011.
  • Ameli, Rezvan. 25 lessons in mindfulness: Now time for healthy living. American Psychological Association, 2014.
  • Kaplan, Jonathan S., Urban mindfulness: Cultivating peace, presence & purpose in the middle of it all. New Harbinger Publications, 2010.
  • Farb, N. & Segal, Z. Better in every sense: How the new science of sensation can help you reclaim your life. Little, Brown Spark. 2024.