Practicing mindfulness helps you to be more present in your life, and it can also help you to feel less anxious. However, being mindful is a skill that needs to be developed, and like any other skill, it takes practice to become better at it. Mindfulness exercises are easy to try and can be done almost anywhere, so you can incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life.
One of the most basic mindfulness exercises involves taking long, deep breaths. This technique is very relaxing, and it brings the attention back to the body and into the present moment. It can be done by anyone, and it is especially useful when you are feeling overwhelmed or ungrounded.
Another simple mindfulness exercise is focusing on a single object, such as a raisin. Focusing on the details of that raisin, like the color, shape and texture, can help to bring the mind back into the present. It is also helpful to notice if the mind wanders, and gently guide it back to the object at hand.
You can also try the deep-seeing exercise. This is similar to the five senses exercise, but with your sense of sight. Pick an object that is around you, and observe it as if you are seeing it for the first time. The goal is to cultivate a heightened awareness and appreciation of common, daily objects that we often take for granted.
Finally, the deep-listening exercise can be a great mindfulness activity to try with your family or friends. It can be done in any setting, but it is best if you can do it somewhere that is quiet and free of distractions. You may want to sit in a chair or go for a walk, but any kind of movement can be used as a mindfulness exercise. It is important to listen to close sounds, such as the sound of your breath, and then move on to sounds that are farther away, such as a fan or conversations in another room.
If you find yourself distracted or unable to concentrate during the exercises, that is totally normal. The goal is to practice these skills regularly, so they begin to become second-nature. You will then be able to use your mindful skills throughout the day when you need to be calm and patient.
Have you ever found yourself rushing through your day without being fully present? Maybe something or someone rubbed you the wrong way, and you reacted automatically with frustration or impatience. Mindfulness can help you to stop those kinds of automatic reactions and learn to respond more deliberately and compassionately.
These are just a few of the many mindfulness exercises that you can try. If you have any other ideas, please comment! And be sure to check out our other articles about mindfulness, including how to incorporate it into your daily life. The more you practice these techniques, the easier it will be to be present and to handle difficult situations with grace.