5 Different Mindfulness Exercises
Practicing mindfulness is an essential part of staying balanced and true for many people across the globe. Much like each of us, each mindful mediation practice is a little different. Here are five of the main exercises many people use while practicing mindfulness.
Breathing is something we all know how to do, we have done it naturally since birth. However, we don't all know the art to breathing in regard to stress relief and relaxation. Simply sit with your feet flat on the floor or lay down. Then, breathe in through your nose while consciously thinking about your intake of breath. Imagine it traveling through your nasal passage and to your lungs. The key is to think about the breath as it travels through your body giving you life. Don't alter your breathing, just pay attention to it. Slow or fast, it doesn't matter. notice your diaphragm filling and then relaxing. Do this exercise for 5 minutes daily, slowly increasing the amount of time yo do it for.
Take the time while eating to truly explore what you are eating and why. Take a small dish of food -- raisins, biscuits, almonds, etc; then slowly hold the food in one hand while examining it with your eyes. Take in its texture and roll it around in your hands. Lift your food to nose and smell it, what does it smell like? If the thought, why am I doing this, crosses your mind then bring your awareness back to your food. Notice if you're salivating. Raise the food from your plate to you mouth and you'll notice your arm does this in a mechanical way as though it's done it a million times before, and it has. Take a bite but think about the food hitting your taste buds and then sit and reflect on your eating experience. This is eating mindfulness.
Notice your breathing, don't change it, but notice it. Bring yourself to consider compassion, care, love, and concern. Think of someone in your life that is very important to you and consider the following things; may this person experience a decrease in stress, may this person know peace, may this person know tranquility, may this person feel joy and happiness, may this person feel love. May this person be free of suffering, or know how to deal with it when it arises. Hold this person in your mind while thinking these thoughts repeatedly in your mind. Keep your breathing relaxed and calm. Now turn to yourself, attempt to send those same positive vibes to the person most important, yourself. May you know less distress, may you be free of suffering, may you feel love and happiness and joy.
Remove your shoes in a clear room where you have the opportunity to walk 12-15 steps unobstructed. Notice your body as you stand still. Consider your body from your toes to the top of your head. Feel the connection of your toes to the floor and the air moving around you. Breathe in and out, calmly and relaxed. Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings and let them be. Clasp your hands behind your back and shift your weight from one leg to the other. Mindfully take on step, and then another, crossing the threshold of the floor. Pay attention to your feet as your heels and toes firmly plant on the ground. Be aware of these feelings. Continue with this walking, turning around when necessary. Remain thoughtful of your steps as you plant your feet. Your breathing will change as you continue this pace, notice it, be aware of it. Appreciate your breathing and your ability to walk mindfully.
Touch points help us to acknowledge where we are in our lives and slow down. Every time you experience a certain cue such as opening a door by twisting a doorknob take a pause and consider where you are in life and how you feel and what you are doing. If you are experiencing negative energy take a moment to "watch" yourself remove the negativity from your life and allow it to fly away.