In today’s world, our mind is constantly overwhelmed with information, tasks, and emotions. When our mind is stretched thin and being pulled in so many different directions, we are left feeling stressed, scattered, and anxious. Mindfulness is a useful tool to help quiet your mind, manage your stress, and learn to be present in a given moment.
Engaging in a daily mindfulness exercise can go a long way in helping you achieve a healthy, rested mind. Feeling too busy to find the time? Good news! These 5 exercises are simple to do and only take a few minutes a day.
Restore Your Calm Anywhere Using These 5 Mindfulness Exercises
1. Mindful Breathing
Start by finding a quiet place where you won’t be distracted. Sit down (this can be on the floor, on a chair, etc.) and be sure your body is upright so that you can breathe easily. Don’t sit up so straight that you’re uncomfortable. The goal here is to eliminate anything about your position that may distract you during the mindfulness practice.
Once you’re situated, set a timer for five minutes. Set your alarm to be a calming sound that will gently alert you that the time is up.
Close your eyes or lower them to focus on a single point to avoid distraction.
Turn your focus towards your breathing. Breathe in and out slowly. Pay attention to how it feels to breathe in, feeling the air move through your lungs. Then, focus on how it feels to exhale, the air releasing from your body.
2. Mindful Eating
When we’re busy, it can be easy to make dinner and immediately plop down on the couch and eat in front of the TV. However, when you eat while distracted, you don’t enjoy your meal as much and you won’t feel as full when it’s over.
Mindful eating is simple to do. Make your meal as usual or grab a snack. Then, sit down at your table in a comfortable chair.
Slow down as you eat and engage all of your senses. Notice how the food looks on your plate. Feel the food in your hands or the smooth metal of your fork. Breathe in and notice how the food smells. Then eat your food in small, manageable bites. Pay attention to how the food tastes and feels in your mouth. Let it linger, then swallow it. Do this until you finish your meal.
3. Mindful Morning Routine
Another way to use mindfulness as a tool is to incorporate it into a daily task that is already part of your daily routine, such as brushing your teeth. To do this, totally focus on the task at hand and what you are doing. Focus on the body movements, the taste, the touch, the sight, the smell, the sound, etc.
Using the brushing your teeth example, focus on the movement of your arm, the way the toothpaste tastes, and the feeling of the toothbrush in your hand and the bristles on your teeth. Notice your reflection in the bathroom mirror, the smell of the toothpaste, and the sounds you hear, such as an electric toothbrush buzzing.
More tips on how to create an effective morning routine.
4. Mindful Walk
You don’t need to be sitting still to practice mindfulness. Take ten minutes to get some fresh air and go on a walk. Put your phone on silent so you won’t be distracted.
Walk slowly, noticing how your feet feel as they touch the ground. Observe the environment around you, taking in the trees, the sky, the clouds, etc. Whether it’s a loud car horn or a tree lightly rustling, listen closely to what is happening around you. Take in the smells of the air, breathing in and out slowly as you move.
Remain present, taking note of these details until you return home.
5. Mindful Stretching
Stretching is both beneficial for your muscles and is a great opportunity to incorporate mindfulness into your life.
Pick a few different stretches to use for this mindfulness practice. For ideas, read this post on 7 stretches for lower back pain.
Hold each stretch for 2 minutes, noticing how your body feels as you complete each movement. If you’re using a prop like a yoga band or a yoga mat, notice how it feels against your skin. Observe how your breath changes as you transition into different stretches.
Those are the five easy mindfulness exercises that you can add to your daily routine today! Use these tools to reduce stress, find inner peace, and achieve a restful mind.
In order to see the positive effects of your mindfulness practice, be patient and stick with it for a few weeks. If you try it a few times and aren’t sure if it’s helping, don’t feel discouraged! When it starts to feel more natural you will be more in tune to the benefits from the practice.
Comment below with your favorite way to incorporate mindfulness into your life.
About the Author
Erin Amborski is an avid self care enthusiast and blogger. She is a gym junkie, meditation maven, and a hoarder of skin care products. In her blog, Self Care Seeker, Erin helps women through their self care journeys. She writes about physical and mental health topics such as exercise, nutrition, skin care, anxiety, etc. In today’s world with life’s daily stresses, we could all use a little more self care.
For more information on mindful breathing, read my post that answers several common questions you may have as a beginner to mindfulness.