When we are mindful we are able to bring a thread of clarity into our lives. You are able to observe your thoughts and feelings, leading to better self-awareness and an ability to identify the inner qualities you want to grow.
Mindfulness is about stepping into the present moment, looking at it without the mind’s persistent judgment. Mindfulness exercises are something that we all can benefit from, with daily practice it can lead us to desired states and expressions of self-love.
Practicing mindfulness gives us a more reliable, compassionate and content state of being. This helps with our ability to navigate life’s ups and downs, and avoid self-limiting fears. It gives us a foundation similar to the benefits of meditation! Life is unpredictable, as much as we want it will never go at a single, steady pace. Often just when we think we have things under control, a flurry of distractions sweep through our mind, and positive habits are placed second.
The beauty of mindfulness exercises is that there is always the present moment, right now, to start again. We can reap the rewards of awareness and take a mindful moment for ourselves.
Step into your own moments of mindfulness by taking up some of these Mindful Exercises that will compliment your meditation practice and enhance your meditation techniques. Begin your journey to self understanding and greater kindness. Always remember, take your time be patient and do not berate yourself for distractions. Choose instead to pick yourself up in the present moment and begin.
MINDFUL EXERCISE: DEVELOP ONE AT A TIME
Begin slowly. Choose one exercise that you are drawn to and than be persistent with, just that one! Slowly it will become natural until not a day goes past without it happening.
MINDFUL EXERCISE: PRACTICE GRATITUDE
It is important to take notice of the blessings we receive; it reminds us to find happiness in the smallest of moments. As we practice gratitude, we become more aware that there’s always something to be thankful for, even in the more negative situations. Start each day, writing in a gratitude notebook, list the numbers, 1, 2, 3 and write next to each one something that you are grateful for. It can be big or small, for example, “I’m grateful that I have a home to live in” or “ I’m grateful that I received a promotion at work.”
MINDFUL EXERCISE: FEEL YOUR FEET AND PALMS
This is a very accessible mindful habit, especially for people who prefer touch and doing physical things. Clench your hands into tight fists and release. Clench. Release. Clench. Release. Do the same thing with your toes. This helps with physically anchoring yourself into self-awareness. Simply bringing you into the present moment.
MINDFUL EXERCISE: NOTICE YOUR SURROUNDINGS
You don’t have to meditate or do yoga to feel a sense of being grounded. To stay grounded in the present moment; just take notice of what’s going on. A great way to re-centre is to take a walk in the park, by the sea or any natural area. Allow your mind to let go by noticing all the smells, sounds, and movement going on. Observe how everything is just as it should be. Who knows maybe this will lead to meditation. Let this exercise ground you in the moment
MINDFUL EXERCISE: BREATHE DEEPLY
Yoga teachings say that the longer the breath the longer you live, sounds great! Inhale and slowly count to four, then exhale making the out breath longer than the in breath. Employ your entire torso: your nostrils, throat, chest and stomach.
MINDFUL EXERCISE: GO TECH FREE
Turn of your devices including the TV for a short period of time. They are necessary for a lot of things, but they are also full of distractions. We often spend a lot of time “off task” on our devices. We get caught up in the never ending entertainment. Avoid the distracting stimulants by turning them off for an hour. You’ll realise you won’t miss it, after an hour turn them back on and continue with a focussed and present mindset.
MINDFUL EXERCISE: SPEAKING KINDLY
We can only be as kind to others as we are to ourselves. Being more mindful can expose how you speak to yourself. What is the inner voice saying? Is he or she supporting and nurturing you, or does he/she berate and push you unfairly? Praise yourself more and forgive yourself in your shortcomings. You are human.