A fun way to practice mindfulness is the “Don’t Lose Your Marbles” exercise.
The purpose of this exercise is to become aware of how many times throughout the day we have negative thoughts about ourselves and our families. As we become aware of that pattern of negative thoughts, we can replace them with positive, more compassionate thoughts. Those positive thoughts lead to more positive expectations of ourselves and our families.

Don’t Lose Your Marbles Exercise

Here’s how it works:

  • Go to the toy store and buy a bag of marbles.
  • Put the marbles in your pocket or purse so that you have them with you all day.
  • Every time you catch yourself having a negative thought, take a marble out of the bag and put it in your pocket or purse, or just set it aside somewhere where it won’t get lost.
  • Every time you catch yourself having a positive thought, put a marble back into the bag.
  • At the end of the day, if your bag is empty, you’ve ‘lost all your marbles.’
  • To get the marbles back into the bag, you have to say one positive thing about yourself or your family for each marble you return to the bag. Don’t go to bed at night until all the marbles are back in the bag!
    The marbles are a physical representation of our inner thought processes. Use this exercise to help change negative self-talk habits by giving yourself a physical reminder of how often during the day you have negative thoughts.
  • Over time you can change your thought habits. The first step is recognizing that they’re there. This exercise will help you make that connection.