Mindfulness exercises that will calm your brain and help improve your mental focus.
Related topics, practicing mindfulness, being more mindful
Most of the time I feel like my mind is racing about a million miles a minute, trying to keep up with the everyday details of our day to day life. The never ending to-do list just ticks away and gets longer and longer. Make a dentist appointment, pick up the dry cleaning, grab groceries so we have something to eat for dinner, don’t forget to email about the committee meeting date changes… it never ends. From the time my alarm goes off in the morning till I drift off to sleep at night, there’s rarely a moment where I sit in stillness and quiet.
Trying to find more balance and calmness in my life has become more of a priority these days. Studies show that meditation has lots of benefits for the mind and body. From decreased stress, lower blood pressure and better sleep to memory improvement and mood enhancement. Who doesn’t want to be a little more relaxed and happier?
So where do you start?
Here are 5 Easy Mindfulness Exercises You Can Try
- Breathing. Sounds simple right, I mean you do it everyday without even trying. Focusing on your breathing is an easy, instant way to calm your brain and become more mindful of your bodies present state. Breathe in deeply and slowly and consider the sensations that your body experiences with each breath. Notice your nostrils opening, your lungs expanding, your rib cage swell, your belly tighten and release.
- Stretching. Yoga is an excellent tool for increasing your mindfulness. You don’t have to be a well trained yogi to feel the benefit of how simple stretches connect your mind and body. Try lying flat on your back and stretch your toes and legs out for 5 seconds, then relax. Feel your muscles tighten and release. Repeat and then move on to your thighs and butt, then your stomach and chest. Finish by stretching your arms overhead and tilting your neck. These easy stretches will release body tension and while increasing your mindfulness.
- Taste. Sense of taste is something we often overlook when life gets rushed. How often do you truly allow yourself to savor a meal or even just a bite of something satisfying? Try focusing on the smell of your food, whether it’s a bagel at breakfast or your lunch sandwich. Take in the aroma, then feel the texture as you experience that first bite. What words come to mind? Crunchy, salty, sweet, spicy. Indulge in the flavor and then feel the motions of chewing and swallowing. Becoming more mindful of the act of eating will help enjoy your food and control your tendency to overeat as well.
- Sound. Choose a song that resonates with you and makes you feel something. Whether it’s a classical piece thats uplifting or a song that reminds you of a special time, play it in the car or through your headphones. Listen closely to the notes, the melody, the composition.
- Gratitude. This practice is simple and can have life changing results, increasing your mindfulness as well as improving your mental state and well being. Take 5 minutes at the beginning or end of each day to identify 5 things you are grateful for. It doesn’t have to be complex, you can express your gratitude for a warm bed, a good cup of coffee, your spouse, your children, your health. Whatever blessings, big or small that bring joy to your life, take a moment to say thanks. By acknowledging and examining the positive things in your life you are telling your mind to relax and focus on the good. Too often we tend to let our minds run on worry and fear of what may or may not happen. By being in the moment and being conscious and content with what is real and present you are resetting your brain to a calmer, happier state.
Mindfulness exercises can have many positive effects of your happiness and health. Becoming more mindful doesn’t mean you have to set aside a large part of your day to work on meditation techniques. You can do it anytime, anywhere and instantly benefit from the powerful perks of feeling present and more mindful everyday.
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practicing mindfulness and how to practice mindfulness