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Mindfulness CAN help with stress. It is essential for our wellbeing to take a few minutes each day to cultivate mental spaciousness and achieve a positive mind-body balance.
The cultivation of moment-by-moment awareness of our surrounding environment is a practice that helps us better cope with the difficult thoughts and feelings that cause us stress and anxiety in everyday life.
With regular practice of mindfulness exercises, rather than being led on auto-pilot by emotions influenced by negative past experiences and fears of future occurrences, we harness the ability to root the mind in the present moment and deal with life’s challenges in a clear-minded, calm, assertive way.
Here are 5 simple mindfulness exercises that can help you get into what mindfulness means. Why not give them a go?
This exercise can be done standing up or sitting down, and pretty much anywhere at any time. All you have to do is be still and focus on your breath for just one minute.
If you enjoyed one minute of this mind-calming exercise, why not try two or three?
2. Mindful Observation
This exercise is simple but incredibly powerful because it helps you notice and appreciate seemingly simple elements of your environment in a more profound way.
3. Mindful Immersion
The intention of this exercise is to cultivate contentment in the moment and escape the persistent striving we find ourselves caught up in on a daily basis. Rather than anxiously wanting to finish an everyday routine task in order to get on with doing something else, take that regular routine and fully experience it like never before.
For example: if you are cleaning your house, pay attention to every detail of the activity. The idea is to get creative and discover new experiences within a familiar routine task.
Instead of labouring through and constantly thinking about finishing the task, become aware of every step and fully immerse yourself in the progress. Who knows, you might even enjoy the cleaning for once!
4. Mindful Appreciation
In this last exercise, all you have to do is notice 5 things in your day that usually go unappreciated.
These things can be objects or people; it’s up to you. Use a notepad to check off 5 by the end of the day.
The point of this exercise is to simply give thanks and appreciate the seemingly insignificant things in life, the things that support our existence but rarely get a second thought amidst our desire for bigger and better things.
For example: electricity powers your kettle, the postman delivers your mail, your clothes provide you warmth, your nose lets you smell the flowers in the park, your ears let you hear the birds in the tree by the bus stop, but…
Once you have identified your 5 things, make it your duty to find out everything you can about their creation and purpose to truly appreciate the way in which they support your life.