Mindfulness exercises are an excellent way to begin your day. Mindfulness is your ability to be fully aware and present of where you are and what you are doing right now this very moment. What mindfulness is not is feeling overwhelmed. Mindfulness is not being overly reactive by situations that are going on around us. It’s easy to become so consumed by our worries and fears. We forget that living in the present — in this moment — is truly where our power lies.
When you set a few minutes aside each day to bring awareness to what you are experiencing through your senses you are being mindful. To read more about what mindfulness is check out our blog, Mindfulness Decoded: What Exactly Is It?.
Since the way we wake up in the morning has a huge impact on how the rest of our day will play out, these are 3 quick and easy mindfulness exercises for you to give a spin. To see the most benefit, start every day with some form of mindfulness exercise. No doubt you want to see the most benefit right? Remember to set all your judgments aside. Test these out over the next week as a fun experiment.
3 Quick Mindfulness Exercises
1. Mindful Breathing
Many mindfulness exercises can be done nearly anywhere you’d like. For instance, you could sit or lie down, or even stand up. In my opinion, this exercise sound easy, however, learning to calm your mind does take practice.
Start by breathing in and out slowly. One breath cycle should last for about 6 seconds. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, letting your breath flow effortlessly in and out of your body. Let go of your thoughts. Let go of your to-do list and anything else cluttering your mind. Simply let any thoughts just flow in and right out. Be at one with your breath.
Keep your mental watch on your breath and focus your sense of awareness on its pathway as it enters your body. Visualize it filling your lungs with clean air and positive energy. Then watch with your awareness as it works work its way up and out of your mouth and is released. Repeat this process over again and again for one full minute. If you find that you this exercise feels good to you trying doing this for up to 15 minutes.
2. The Five Senses Exercise
Another super easy way to bring you to a mindful state is the five senses exercise. If you are cramped for time and only have a minute or two, the five senses exercise can help you bring awareness to the current moment in a very short amount of time. All that you need is to notice something you are experiencing with each of the five senses.
Follow this order to practice the five senses exercise:
Notice five things that you can see.
Next, look around you and bring your attention to five things that you can see. Pick something that you don’t normally notice, like a shadow or a small crack in the concrete.
Notice four things that you can feel.
Next, bring awareness to four things that you are currently feeling, like the texture of your pants, the feeling of the breeze on your skin, or the smooth surface of a table you are resting your hands on.
Notice three things you can hear.
Next, take a moment to listen, and note three things that you hear in the background. This can be the chirp of a bird, the hum of the refrigerator, or the faint sounds of traffic from a nearby road.
Notice two things you can smell.
Next, bring your awareness to smells that you usually filter out, whether they’re pleasant or unpleasant. Perhaps the breeze is carrying a whiff of pine trees if you’re outside, or the smell of a fast food restaurant across the street.
Notice one thing you can taste.
Next, focus on one thing that you can taste right now, in this moment. You can take a sip of a drink, chew a piece of gum, eat something, or just notice the current taste in your mouth or open your mouth to search the air for a taste.
3. Mindful Eating for 4 Minutes
Due to our fast paced living, this one is especially important. Make sure you have no distractions (no music or tv) for this exercise. Pay attention to what you are holding and notice the feeling of it in your hands. Once you have noticed the texture, the weight, the size, the colors, etc., move on to bringing your awareness to the smell of your food.
Finally, move on to eating, but do so very slowly and with hyper-focused attention. Savor each bite. For example, try to chew each bite 20 times. Notice the taste and its texture against your tongue.
We live in a very fast paced, rush – rush and hurry hurry world. As a consequence, no wonder so many of us are overwhelmed with stress and anxiety. Maybe it seems all you do is feel stressed. So, it is vital for our wellbeing that we take a few minutes out each day to take care of our inner and mental kingdom. In addition to bringing you inner peace, these mindfulness exercises will help you reach a more positive mind-body balance.
Use one of these simple mindfulness exercises above to empty your mind. Find that much needed calm amidst the chaos of your life. Let us know how it works for you!