Mindfulness practice has gained in popularity over the years. Arguably, no more so than during this current Covid-19 Pandemic.
"Mindfulness" can be defined as a psychological state of awareness. For most of us, this means- mindfulness is a moment-to-moment awareness of our current experience without judgment. You, too, can learn how to sprinkle mindful moments throughout your day. With a bit of dedication, you can make mindfulness a daily habit.
Benefits of Mindfulness
There are so many benefits of developing a mindfulness practice. Repeated studies from all over the world highlight the positive benefits. Some of those benefits include:
• Stress reduction
• Increased Focus
• Reduces negative reaction to stress
• Improves relations
• Improved immune function
• Lowering blood pressure
8 Simple Mindfulness Activities
How often do you intend to have a great day, and then all kinds of issues come up? Issues that make you feel anger, depression, fear, or even rage.
Practicing mindfulness for just a few minutes air at random times improves your day. Each day you have limitless opportunities to benefit from these mindfulness activities.
1- Mindful Waking Moment
As soon as your eyes open, take a nice deep breath. When exhaling, affirm to yourself that today will be a great day. With that affirmation, you have set your intention to have a great day. Now, close your eyes and scan from your toes to your head with your intention in your mind. Notice how each part feels. Just breathe normally while you do and focus on each sensation or feeling in your body. That's it and only takes a few minutes.
2- Mindful Eating
As you sit down for a meal, decide to be in the moment. Notice how your food looks and the aroma.
What does each mouthful taste like as you take them?
Are there flavors or spices you can taste?
Describe to yourself the texture of the food. With your mind focused just on each mouthful, you are practicing mindfulness.
3- Mindful Movements
As you walk from the bus or car to a store or your office, focus on the feeling of your feet as they hit the ground. Feel your knees bend or your ankles flex.
What is the weather like? Is the sun shining warmly on your face? Or is the wind cold on your exposed skin.
4- Mindful meditation. Incorporate mindfulness in a meditation practice. In your meditation pose, your main focus is on your breathing.
Do thoughts come up? If so, acknowledge them and let them float away
Are you having sensations in your body? If so, wish each sensation well and let them go.
Keep bringing your attention back to just your breathing.
5- Mindful Seeing. This mindfulness activity is perfect if you are uncomfortable with closing your eyes. This is a good group or family activity. Find a comfortable place near a window.
As you look out the window focus, without categorizing what you see. Don't label good, bad, ugly, dirty, clean, etc. Just look.
Notice what you can see.
Acknowledge the colors in the objects.
Is there movement from the wind or water?
This can last as long you can sit still. It's like daydreaming, and who didn't or doesn't like to daydream?
6- Mindful Listening
This is a group or family mindfulness activity. One a time, someone shares a thought or story. Your only role is to listen and not judge. You can keep your eyes open or closed.
What is the speaker saying?
What is the tone of their voice?
Can you hear them taking deep breaths?
Just listen without thinking of responses or judgments.
7- 5 Senses
This is a quick mindfulness exercise when time doesn't allow for more. Grab your favorite beverage or snack, and wherever you are, you can begin.
• Name five separate things you can see.
• Acknowledge four things that you can feel.
• Listen for three things you can hear.
• Sniff for two scents or smells
• Taste the one beverage or snack
8- 3 Minute Focus On Me
Wherever you are comfortable, use this exercise for a quick 3-minute mindfulness activity.
For one minute, answer the question- How am I doing? Just acknowledge all the thoughts that arise.
For the next one minute, focus on keeping your breathing in a smooth pattern, in and out.
In the last minute, feel the sensations of your breathe entering and leaving your body.
9 Simple Mindfulness Exercise
These are quick and straightforward exercises That give you a small measure of mindfulness that can be done in many places and at any time.
1- Observe a leaf for one minute
Just find a leaf to look at or hold. Give it your undivided attention for 1 minute.
2- 12 Count Breathing
As you inhale, count to 4. Hold your breath for a count of 4. Exhale for a count of 4. Repeat for one minute.
3- Observe an animal
As you focus on your breathing, observe an animal.
4- Focus on the dot
Find a mark on the wall or the flame of a candle and turn all your focus on it for one minute, breathing normally.
5- Citrus Taste
If you enjoy oranges, lemons, or tangerines, slowly peel one. Notice the scent, the texture, and your mouth watering. Slowly peel it and enjoy each bite mindfully.
6- Scent Shock
Light a scented candle or diffuse a scented oil. Just close your eyes and breathe deeply, focusing on the scent.
7- Pet, an animal
Give an animal one full minute of your undivided attention while petting it and breathing slowly.
8- The 1-Minute Chore
As you go about an everyday chore, focus on what your hands or feet are doing- how they move.
9- A Quick Stretch
No yoga is required. Just do one or a few simple stretches. Feel the muscles involved.
5 Tips to Get The Most Benefit From Mindfulness
With so many opportunities to incorporate mindfulness into your life, the best way to gain the most benefit is by following these simple tips while practicing.
1. Pay attention to the moment. Focus on what you can see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. For example, when you have your first morning drink, make a special effort to pay attention to how the liquid feels in your mouth. Does it wake you up? Does it feel cool or warm?
2. Take notice. All of us have wandering minds. When your mind wanders, note where your thoughts have drifted to. If you have feelings or thoughts, it's ok to name them.
3. Accept. If you have thoughts, feelings, or even sensations, accept them by acknowledging that they are present. Don't judge them or try to solve them, and don't try to get rid of them.
4. Consciously return to the moment. If your mind wanders, bring it back to the present moment. Refocus on your breathing or some other body sensation.
5. Be kind to yourself. Mindfulness can be difficult and takes practice. Just thank yourself for practicing.
Taking a few minutes each to be mindful and incorporating some mindfulness activities can positively impact your happiness and health. Check out our latest posts to get more great health and fitness information and recipes. Or go to: https://www.activefitblog.com
Photo by William Farlow on Unsplash