Mindfulness exercises you can try today

July 02, 2018

With a constant stream of responsibilities and work, it’s far too easy to forget the more important things in life. In recent years, people have been increasingly turning to meditation to promote their physical and emotional wellbeing.

Mindfulness is the latest craze in the meditation world, with mega celebrities like Oprah, Emma Watson, and Kobe Bryant all embracing the practice.

While there are many different ways to experience mindfulness, it ultimately means paying more attention to what’s going on inside and outside ourselves, from moment to moment.

Here are two simple mindfulness exercises you can do, anytime and anywhere, throughout your day.

Mindful Breathing

Slow down your breathing, and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Breathe in and out a few times, counting three seconds for your inhale, and then three seconds for your exhale.

Try to clear your mind. Let go of any lingering thoughts, and put aside those things you still need to do today. Think only of your breathing.

As you breathe in, imagine the pathway of oxygen travelling through your body. Think of this oxygen as filling you with life and renewing energy.

As you exhale, become aware of how your breath feels as it leaves your body, releasing its energy back into the world.

Try this mind-calming exercise for one minute at first, and then build up to two to three minutes at a time.

Mindful Awareness

Think of something that happens every day that you take for granted. It can be a physical activity, an emotion or a recurring thought.

The next time it happens, take a moment, and think about the activity. Think about where you are, what you are doing, and how you feel.

For example, the next time turn on your computer, stop for a second. Appreciate the hands that allow you to turn it on, and the brain that knows how to use it.

If you struggle with negative thoughts, you might try to take a moment to stop, label the thought as unhelpful and then release the negativity.

Choose a different activity to focus on every day, to become more aware and more appreciative of simple, day-to-day tasks.