8 Simple But Powerful Mindfulness Exercises to Practice on Set

8 Simple But Powerful Mindfulness Exercises to Practice on Set
Design by Judy Moore in Canva
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Practicing mindfulness exercises at work is possible, even in the high-stress, fast-paced environment we work in on set.

Mindfulness can be defined as the ability to be intensely aware of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and environment in the moment in a non-judgemental way.

Practicing mindfulness exercises can divert our attention from stressful, negative thoughts that drain our energy, and it can relax our minds and bodies and even boost our immune systems.

Being more mindful at work can reduce our feelings of emotional exhaustion and improve our focus and rational decision-making, both highly positive outcomes in our often grueling workplace.

Even one minute of practicing a mindful exercise on set can make a positive difference.

Here are eight simple but powerful mindfulness exercises to practice on set:

  1. Set your intention daily.

Setting our intention each day is more potent than it seems.  It puts us on the right path for the day, and I’ve found it to be a solid guide for how I’d like my day to proceed.

I set intentions such as ‘I will remain calm and focused throughout the day,’ or ‘Everything today will go smoothly and efficiently.’

Setting an intention for the day will help guide anyone who’s ever arrived at work feeling frazzled and anxious, which is probably all of us.

  1. Be a single-tasker.

I know it can be complicated when people are all demanding things they need for the next shot.  Our first instinct is to go into overdrive and try and accomplish everything at once by multi-tasking.

However, we cannot genuinely multi-task, and our brains just aren’t wired for it.  We function far better when we give our conscious attention to each task we perform, increasing our productivity and quality of work.

Mindfulness and multi-tasking are not compatible.  Be a mindful single-tasker.

  1. Be present in the moment.

This can be challenging at work, as our attention often drifts to what went wrong yesterday or what we’ll do tomorrow.  But mindfulness is about being still and focused in the present.

We need to bring our full attention to each task and be non-judgmental observers of ourselves and our work.

Experiencing our surroundings in the moment with all of our senses will help us stay grounded throughout the day.

  1. Practice deep breathing.

Breathing is essential to our existence, and we do it without thinking every moment of the day.

Focusing on our breath and taking deep, nourishing breaths can help ease negative, stressful thoughts.

You can practice deep breathing standing up in the middle of a busy set, and I do it all the time.  It’s even better if you can sit down and close your eyes for a moment.

If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you understand how beneficial the awareness of our breathing is.

It’s easy to make deep breathing a daily mindfulness exercise at work.

  1. Stretch throughout the day.

Mindfulness isn’t only about our minds.  It’s also about awareness of our physical bodies.

Most of us who work on set are on our feet for much of the day.  Many of us also suffer from back, leg, or foot pain.

Taking a moment to do some standing stretches helps relieve tight muscles and tension.

And don’t neglect your shoulders, as many of us hold much of our tension there.

Working on set can be hard on our bodies, and we all need and deserve the self-care of gentle stretching.  I do standing stretches on set several times a day.

  1. Practice gratitude.

Practicing gratitude means we focus on what’s going well in our day, careers, and lives instead of giving attention to what’s wrong.  We increase our resilience when we consciously express gratitude for where we are and what we’re doing.

We work in a creative business that many others struggle to break into.

It’s not hard to find things to appreciate around us.  Look at what each department on set contributes to the whole project with a sense of wonder and gratitude.

Yes, it’s a tricky business, but I’m always grateful I haven’t spent the past few decades stuck in an office cubicle hating my job.

  1. Have a growth mindset.

Part of mindfulness is acknowledging that we’re capable of change and growth.

When we adopt a growth mindset, we develop a broader perception that allows us to be open to new possibilities.

We choose how we respond to challenges at work throughout the day.  We can see failures and performance feedback not as threats but as opportunities for growth.

We’re presented with growth opportunities every day on set.  Adopting a growth rather than a fixed mindset will lead to greater personal growth and professional success.

  1. Practice humility.

Humility and mindfulness go hand in hand.  Humility is an awareness that our accomplishments are the result of not just our own work but the efforts of others.

Showing appreciation and respect for others who’ve helped us is an expression of humility, and it’s often sorely lacking in our industry.

Practicing mindfulness exercises increases our self-awareness and makes us more humble.


Mindful practice has been found in studies to rewire the brain, with neuron growth shown in areas of the brain associated with memory, learning, awareness, and emotional control.

Since most of us are freelancers and don’t work at a single company that has a wellness program that includes mindfulness training, it’s up to us to establish and practice our own mindfulness exercises where we work.

We need it more than ever after the stress and upheaval of the past couple of years.




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