In this busy world of ours the mind gets pulled from one place to the next, scattering thoughts everywhere and leaving you feeling stressed. The majority of people don’t have five minutes to sit down and relax, let alone 30 minutes or more for meditation. However, it’s very important for your health to allow yourself a few minutes here and there for mental spaciousness. If you’re a busy bee, try using these easy mindfulness exercises to empty your mind for a few minutes and find some relief and clarity amidst the madness.
1. One Minute Breathing
This exercise can be done anywhere at any time. All you have to do is focus on your breathing for just one minute. Breath in and out slowly, holding your your breath for a count of six as you inhale. Naturally your mind will try and wander, but just try to just focus on the rise and fall of your breath and let thoughts go as they arise. Watch the breath as it enters your body and fills you with life, and then watch it leave effortlessly from your body as the energy dissipates into the universe.
2. Mindful Observation
This exercise is simple but incredibly powerful. Pick a natural organism within your immediate environment and focus on watching it for one minute. This could be a flower or an insect, the clouds or the moon. Let thoughts of anything else in your life drop away as you concentrate and visually explore this glorious organism of the natural world.
3. Touch Points
Think of something that happens every day more than once, something you take for granted, like opening a door for example. At that moment when you touch the door knob, allow yourself to be completely mindful of where you are, how you feel and what you are doing. The cues don’t have to be physical; it could be that every time you think something negative you take a mindful moment to release the negative thought.Or it could be that every time you smell food you take a mindful moment to rest in the appreciation of having food to eat. Choose a touch point that resonates with you today, and stop and stay with it for a while.
4. Mindful Listening
Choose a new piece of music, something you’ve never heard before. Don’t think about the genre or the artist, instead just allow yourself to get lost in the journey of sound for the duration of the song. The idea is to just listen; to do nothing else but hear, without preconception or judgement. If you can’t find any music you like, simply listen to the sounds in your environment. Don’t try and determine what the sounds are, just listen and effortlessly absorb the experience.
5. Fully Experience a Regular Routine
Take a regular routine that you don’t think much about and make it a mindful one. For example, when cleaning your house, pay attention to every detail of cleaning. Be mindful of what you are doing. Watch and feel the motion of sweeping the floor or scrubbing the dishes. Be in the moment, aware and present. Don’t simply clean on auto-pilot as you usually would, feel your way through the routine and merge with the activity, physically and mentally.
6. The Game of Five
In this mindfulness exercise, all you need to do is notice five things in your day that usually go unnoticed. These could be things you hear, smell, feel or see. For example you might see the walls, hear the birds, feel your clothes or smell the flowers. Of course, you may already do these things, but are you really aware of these things and the connections they have with your world?
It’s incredible what an impact learning to truly notice your sense and environment can have on your life. By becoming mindful of who, what and where we are we can experience increased joy, happiness and contentment. If you want to practice more mindfulness exercises then have a read of my Mindfulness Exercises book.