Mindfulness is a type of meditation where you focus on being highly aware of all the emotions and sensations you are feeling at that time. Have you ever experienced rushing out of the door without thinking about what to do and how your day should go. Being unable to control what’s happening around you leaves you feeling angry, sad, annoyed, or irritated.
Most of us don’t have enough time to just sit down, relax, and meditate in this busy world of ours. However, it’s vital for our well-being to stop and take some time to nurture our minds each day and gain a positive mind and body balance. If you are interested in practicing mindfulness but don’t think you have the time, here are 9 mindfulness exercises you can do in just a few minutes or less:
Yawning and stretching for at least 10 seconds every hour
Yawn then say “aah” when you exhale. You will notice that yawning disrupts whatever thoughts or feelings you are having and brings your attention to the moment. Finish this with a very slow stretching that should last for at least 10 seconds. How do you feel? Take note of what you’re feeling for another 20 seconds then go back to whatever you were doing.
Hug and breathe
Hug a family or a friend tightly and take three huge, slow, and synchronized breaths together. Relax your shoulders, loosen any muscles that you feel tight, let it all go away, and you will feel the tension melting away.
Massage your hands
Mindful hand massage starts with 3 deliberate breaths. With the right palm facing upwards, place in it your left hand. Using your left thumb, start massaging the wrist, palm, each finger, each space between each finger, and the other side of your hand. When you’re done with the right hand, repeat the same procedure with the left hand. This exercise can make you calm, boost your mood, reduce pain, and lessen stress.
Mindful eating is not about limiting the food you eat but it’s all about being aware of the food you are eating the moment you are eating it. You can get a piece of chocolate or a few raisins and eat it mindfully. Slowly eat every bit, savor the taste, the texture, and notice how it feels inside your mouth. Eating mindfully lets your body catch up with your brain, makes you aware of your hunger signals, and allows you to have a deep connection with your food.
Clench your fists tightly and breathe into your fist. Notice how fire rushes into your body and become aware of the feeling of anger rising up. Observe how your chest, stomach, and face are feeling. Notice how your breathing and heart rate escalates. Breath in and breathe out 10 times and notice how you’re feeling. Were you able to control the rising anger? This exercise can help you cope with anger.
Mindful STOP Technique
This is a 4-step mental checklist that you can do anytime to get a break from whatever you’re doing.
S - Stop whatever you’re doing. Pause your actions and thoughts.
T - Take several deep breaths Find your center and bring yourself into the current moment.
O - Observe what is going on with your mind, body, and emotions.
P - Proceed with what you were doing. Make conscious actions, decisions, or choices.
Close your eyes and feel your breath. It could be the rise and fall of your chest or the air that goes in and out of your nostrils. Concentrate on your breathing and if your mind roams off to other thoughts, as it usually would, just bring back your attention to breathing. This can help in reducing stress, cooling you off, relieve negative emotions, and improve your concentration skills.
Find a quiet time for yourself and sit down comfortably. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and relax your muscles. Feel your inner peace and focus on this feeling. Repeat 3 or 4 encouraging phrases to yourself and savor in the warm feelings for a few moments.
Encouraging phrases could be:
- May I be safe
- May I be happy
- May I be healthy
- Maty I be strong
You can make your own encouraging phrases and you can also shift your focus to your loved ones.
Choose an Aspiration
Select an aspiration. Ask yourself what you desire in your heart. Stop for 20 seconds and do this again for a second or third time. Write down what you got and choose which one you like best. Say your desired aspiration at the start of the day to set you up and your interactions for the day.
People who practice mindfulness are healthier and happier than those who don’t. The incredible benefits of practicing mindfulness are accessible to those who have the time to do these exercises.