Mindfulness exercises are a great way to help us relax and focus our mind on living in the present moment. There are so many different exercises we can do, but I thought I would list 7 of the best exercises that are both simple and very effective.
We should all find some time to practice one of these during our day.
1. Meditation while walking.
This is when we take a quiet walk in a calm environment and take time to notice the environment around you and how you relate to it. You can do this by simply focusing your thoughts and thinking only about yourself and the surroundings.
Feel the movement of your steps; the brush of wind upon your skin; deeply concentrate on the moment and take your time to let everything else go. Relaxing your mind and thinking positively is the key to this activity.
All negativity and ill minded thoughts must be suppressed. The secret is to fix your mind on a positive thought and let your imagination flow as you walk.
2. Mindfulness listening.
This technique is about simply taking time to listen to every little detail that surrounds you. Most of the time we hear all sorts of sounds, but we tend to block out those that are of less importance to us.
Sounds such as other people’s conversations, car noises, birds chirping, machines in operation are simply FILTERED out of our consciousness.
When we are mindful we are consciously and deliberately listening to the different sounds in the surrounding environment. We are just letting our ears hear while not allowing ourselves to specifically think about anything else. We are simply letting the world’s sounds flow in your ears while you clear your mind of all thoughts.
3. Mindfulness while breathing deeply.
Breathing is an involuntary body action. However, when we practice taking and holding deep breaths for two seconds it can become a mindfulness exercise. In this way we focus on our involuntary action of breathing while taking note of our body movements as you do this.
We have all had times when we get caught up in a situation that’s hard to deal with. All we can do is take a deep breath, and in that moment feel the body’s reaction, the expansion of the chest, the cool air inflating your lungs and relaxing.
This helps us to gather our thoughts and compose ourselves so that we can respond in a more thoughtful and deliberate manner.
4. Appreciating Mother Nature.
Knowing the natural surroundings of our environment and taking a keen interest in every detail is also another form of mindfulness practice we as adults can carry out.
Listening, seeing, feeling and engaging all our body senses to acknowledge the presence of nature all around us is a powerful way to practice mindfulness.
Allowing our mind to just relax and our body senses such as hearing the different sounds, seeing the different colors all around our environment, feeling the rush of wind blowing and the warmth of the sun on your body and taking note of the different fragrance in the air is all that is required.
All we need to do is let the nature around you carry your thoughts away while we relax.
5. Mindfulness practice of Imagination
Imagination is simply the art of using our insight and visions of different images within your mind. This practice is helpful in getting better visual impressions of the images in the mind. To practice this form of mindfulness it helps to find an open space with a pleasing landscape.
You just need to let your eyes see your thoughts clearly. Look at the entire landscape as a whole without concentrating on any one specific feature.
Allow your imagination to flow uninhibited on positive thoughts and outcomes. This practice can become a powerful way to convert thoughts and wishes into meaningful actions.
6. Scanning the body
This technique is best performed by lying down on your back or even sitting on a comfortable place and remaining totally still during the entire activity. Taking note of our body movements, we notice the changes while we take breaths, feeling the slight changes, the involuntary reflexes of the body all while remaining still.
Next we take note of our body parts, limbs, joints and skin. In simple terms, this is focusing your attention on the feelings of every body part.
From the head all the way down to the legs and toes of the feet. This exercise involves both our mind and body while remaining perfectly still.
7. Simple self-meditation
This style of meditation is all about focusing on our own feelings. We start by relaxing and making yourself comfortable. You then engage your mind in thoughts about yourself:
What is your character? What makes you unique? What are your values and what do you really believe in. The questions can be endless!
The difficulty with this practice is that it requires a lot of concentration to maintain a positive frame of mind. We can too easily slip into self-criticism and negativity. However, practiced well, this technique is a powerful way of grounding ourselves and understanding our true nature.
If you’re interested in meditation we have a great article on the top 5 meditation training techniques.
Why not start with this simple Breathing Mindfulness Exercise: