In today’s world, we are constantly moving faster, getting busier, and being pulled in every direction. Many of us feel like we don’t even have five minutes to take a breath, let alone thirty minutes to meditate.

This scattered way of living is leaving us feeling anxious, unorganized, and stressed. It’s essential for us to find the time even if it’s just a few minutes each day. Why? To practice self-care. 

Practising mindfulness exercises is one way to find the calm in our daily storms. Mindfulness is the act of being intensely aware of your senses and feelings without interpretation of judgement.

There are several types of exercises that can result in many benefits. Some of these benefits include reduced stress, anxiety, and depression. You may also experience less negative thinking, less distraction, and an improved mood.

Anyone can practice these simple forms of meditation and see results. I have prepared a list of five mindfulness exercises you can start doing today. 

Mindful Breathing

This is a good exercise to get you going because it can be done nearly anywhere. It can be completed by sitting down or standing up. There is an added bonus if you can do it while sitting in meditation posture. All you have to do is breath and be still.

  1. Begin by slowly breathing in and out. Take long, deep breaths.

  2. Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to really feel each breath through your whole body.

  3. Clear your mind and let go of your thoughts. Focus only on your breathing.

  4. Follow the above steps for a minute or two to help you relax. 

Hand Awareness

Beginners can find it difficult to focus solely on breathing, but then you can always try the mindful hand exercise instead. This exercise is all about feeling and being aware of your body, particularly your hands.

  1. Begin by tightly gripping your hands and holding for 5 to 10 seconds.

  2. Release your hands and pay close attention to how your hands feel.

  3. Keep your attention focused on the sensation for as long as possible.

Mental Focus

The human attention span has lessened over the years and has become a great problem. Our lives are filled with distraction, flashing lights, and quick movements. This exercise helps you slow down and regain your focus.

  1. Begin by finding a single object to stare at.

  2. Stare at your predetermined object and try to remain focused on it for as long as possible.

  3. Pay attention to when your mind starts to wonder, and quickly bring it back to the object.

  4. The longer you remain focused, the more your mindfulness will increase.

If you’re unable to focus even after several attempts, prepare a cup of matcha tea which is a concentration boosting drink rich in nutrients. It works wonders!

Full Sensory Awareness

This is a perfect exercise to do while coming home from work, at the park, in the grocery store, and pretty much anywhere. It’s good to do this exercise in different places in order to become aware of the world around you.

  1. Once you are in a safe place to do so, just stop and look around right where you are.

  2. Become aware of everything your senses pick up.

  3. Question how you feel if you are over-stimulated, and whether or not you are anxious.

  4. Make a mental note and continue to observe without judgement.

Mindful Listening

Mindful exercises are designed as a way to be in union with one’s senses. This exercise is designed specifically to open your ears to sound in a non-judgmental way. The idea is to listen to a neutral piece of music in order to clear your mind of any preconception.

  1. Begin by selecting a piece of music you have never heard before.

  2. Put your headphones on and close your eyes.

  3. Become aware of the song playing in your ears and let it take you on a journey. Get rid of any judgmental thoughts about the genre, artist, song, or title.

  4. Listen with intent and dissect every instrument, sound, vocal, and dynamic of the song.

  5. Don’t think, just listen. 

Are you ready?

These five exercises could be your first few steps in living a more mindful life. Creating a more meaningful and healthier life takes purpose and effort. 

Stress, anxiety and depression can lead to potentially dangerous health conditions. Huge amounts of emotional stress can cause weight gain, receding hairline and thinning hair, chronic ailments like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart diseases. Practising these simple exercises every day can help you achieve a better lifestyle; one with less stress, less anxiety, and more time.

Once you make the decision to be more mindful, it can be difficult to stick to it. Begin by making small and simple changes. Find one thing you can do every day to be more mindful. More importantly, find what works best for you.

It’s also important to never view these exercises as a chore or an annoyance. Look forward to this quiet time and be excited about it every day.

Of course, the list and information I’ve provided you today is not the only way to find results. Some of the other things include waking up early, writing and keeping track of your activities in a journal, visualizing daily goals, connecting with nature, and eating healthy. Find one thing you can start doing right now and stick to it.