In our hectic, demanding lives, there’s very little time to unwind. Lack of relaxation often leaves us feeling stressed and anxious, with our thoughts and emotions scattered. But by practicing mindfulness exercises, you can achieve a positive mental state by dedicating just a few minutes to yourself each day.
4 of the Most Potent Mindfulness Exercises
1. Deep Breathing
However, letting go of your worries entirely during one minute of deep breathing is even more beneficial. Focus your senses intently on your breath as it enters and exits your body, rather than your anxious thoughts.
After about one minute, take a mental note of how you feel. Remember this feeling the next time you’re overwhelmed, so you’ll know how helpful a deep breathing exercise can be. If possible, extend the time you do this exercise beyond one minute for more profound relaxation.
This exercise is intended to help you ground yourself in the present moment in order to achieve a heightened sense of awareness and clarity of focus.
Consider something mundane that you do several times a day, such as taking a sip of water. Whenever you do it, take a moment and be actively mindful of where you are and how you’re feeling.
Appreciate the body that allows you to lift the glass of water to your lips, and the brain that reminds you that you’re thirsty.
Practice this exercise for a few days and you’ll become more aware of and grateful for the little things in your life.
3. Walking Mindfulness
People often think of mindfulness exercises as something they must be sitting or lying down for, but that’s not necessarily true.
If you do at least ten or fifteen minutes of continuous walking per day, take that time to do a quick exercise. Concentrate on the sensation of your feet touching the ground, the way the air feels on your skin and any sounds you hear.
The point is to see how your mind wanders, then gently bring it back to the immediate sensations you’re experiencing, without judging your thoughts.
4. Guided Exercises
Guided mindfulness exercises involve another person assisting you through. They usually come in the form of recorded audio that you listen to, but there are also imagery routines available.
During a guided exercise, you’ll be directed through breathing and tension-release techniques by the voice of another person. For example, they’ll tell you to ease the tension in your toes, then your legs and so on until your body is relaxed.
Elements of Rockville Centre recommends using headphones and closing your eyes during a guided exercise. This way, all outside stimuli will be drowned out, making it easy for you to concentrate on the directions. There are tons of free ones online.
Most of these mindfulness exercises can be done in just a few minutes. At first, it may be difficult to prevent your mind from wandering, but with a bit of practice, you’ll notice results. If you practice any mindfulness techniques that we left out of this blog, let us know! We’d love to try them!