Practicing mindfulness means focusing on the moment you are in. It sounds very easy and simple to do, but we all have a constant and continual conversation going on in our heads.
How on earth do you silence that and “be” in the moment?
Try our mindfulness exercises below and see if it can help you:
A 60 second moment
For a full minute, focus on your breathing. While breathing normally, take note of the inhalation and exhalation of air through your nose, how your chest expands and retracts and the sensations you are feeling.
Return you attention very gently to your breathing when your mind starts to wander. Do this through-out your day when you have a minute to spare.
Every time a trigger happens in your day, stop what you are doing and focus on your breathing. A trigger can be anything you want; a birdcall, a specific word that someone uses, when you drink a beverage or hear a certain noise.
Focusing on your breathing will pull you back every time your trigger reminds you to be mindful.
Mindfulness Quick Links:
This mindfulness exercise is seemingly simple, but you’ll find that it is more difficult than you think.
Instead of focusing on your breath as in the other exercises, count from 1 to 10 without your attention wandering away. You have to start again when your mind wanders.
This is the usual scenario:
One, two, three … will she remember to … Nooo, that’s a thought.
One, two, three … I can do this, it’s not so … tsk, another thought.
One, two … need to concentrate harder …
Posture, posture, posture!
Whether you are sitting, standing, walking or laying flat on your back, become aware of your posture. Focus on how your back supports you, how your muscles feel, the slope of your shoulders, how you hold your head.
Take note of the sensations you feel in every part of your body. Move from one area of your body to another until your awareness has touched every part of your body.
Turn your attention to your breathing before you continue with your day.
3 Item exercise
Focus on your breath as you breathe normally. Slowly pulling your attention away from your breathing, look around you and take note of:
• 3 items you can see,
• 3 items you can hear,
• 3 sensations you can feel.
Eat and drink mindfully
Eat and drink slowly while paying attention to smell, taste and texture. Focus on how the food or dink feels in your mouth, the sensations on your tongue and as you swallow. Savour every bite, taste and sensation.
You will find that some of these mindfulness exercise are every easy and some are very difficult. It is important that you continue doing it even if you can’t reach your goal. Being mindful is what is important, not how good you are at achieving it.