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Mindful ActivityWashing Your Hands

Washing Your Hands

Reconnect with your sense of touch by staying present through the simple act of washing your hands.

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Welcome to this mindful hand washing activity. Washing our hands can be a great way to reconnect and recenter ourselves using our sense of touch. In this practice, see if you can pay attention to the different sensations in the hands, noticing the temperature of the water, the fragrance of the soap and the suds and bubbles that are created between the palms and fingers. Before you begin this exercise, though, take a moment to take a deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth, feeling the feet firmly planted onto the floor, relaxing the shoulders, maybe gently noticing any tension in your neck, arms, or hands. From here, turning on the faucet, adjusting the temperature of the water to your liking and applying the soap of your choice to your left or right palm and then wetting both of your hands, feeling the sensation of the cool or warm water making contact with the skin and gently rubbing the hands together, noticing what you can see, what you can smell, what you can hear, and what you can feel. The mind is bound to get distracted, and that's okay. Just gently notice any thoughts that you may have and return back to the feeling of the hands rubbing together and any other sensations that may be present, watching as the suds begin to form between the palms, washing in between the webs of your fingers. Again, the mind may want to rush through this activity and get it over with. But as best as you can, just staying here with this exercise, observing the hands, palms, each finger, observing them in a curious way, in a new way. Maybe even thanking your hands for everything that they allow you to do before finishing up. And as you dry your hands, there may be a sense of impatience or rush as we near the end of this task. So continuing to gently pay attention, noticing the different sensations in your hands, fingers, palms, feeling the texture of the cloth, paper towel, or the air from your hand dryer, staying with this sense of presence. Washing our hands provides us with a wonderful opportunity to practice mindfulness. Maybe you don't have enough time in your day to meditate. But paying attention and being present during this everyday task can be another way to infuse more mindful moments in your everyday life....


TypeMindful Activity
Duration4 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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