My lifelong habit is to listen to music and/or watch television while exercising, distracting myself to help the time pass faster. But now I'm going to try using mindfulness for at least10 minutes of my exercise routine.
Why? Mindfulness may increase the relaxing effect of the rhythmic steps by giving my mind a break from the complex, energy-demanding busy-ness of daily life, including television shows and music.
Minfulness may offer the same paradoxical benefit I've experienced when, instead of trying to block it out of my mind, I've focused my attention on an impending needle stick: Paying attention lessens my perception of discomfort. This effect was a surprise at first, but it has worked consistently with needlesticks. (Maybe it has something to do with my not being the least bit surprised by the stab.)
And maybe mindful self-talk will help recalibrate my self-perception. E.g., "I am strong, I am tough, I am strong, I am tough..." or "I am healthy, I am healthy...."
10 minutes of mindfulness can't possibly hurt me, so as a Healthy Survivor who is always a work in progress, I'll give it a whirl and see how it goes.