Mindfulness is practices by many people as a component of their treatment for mental and physical health problems. It also helps to maintain good health and wellbeing when used by those who are healthy. The best mindfulness exercises are simple to do and most do not take much time. Though all mindfulness exercises are quite good, many people don’t know some of the best ones.
One of these exercises is often referred to as “The Mindful Pause”. It is easy and less than a minute to do. It has just two steps to it. What makes this exercise one of the best is that it can be done no matter what else you may be doing. You can do it right after waking up, while eating a meal, sending an email, talking on the phone or driving somewhere. It helps you be your best and handle stress better through the day.
The Mindful Pause Exercise
1. The first step is to pause your breathing for just a second and then breath in and out, feeling every aspect of your breathing. Focus on how your breath feels in your nose, shoulders, lungs and abdomen. Do this for ten to twenty seconds.
2. The second step is to ask yourself the question “Of my character strengths, which one will I focus on at this moment?”
Another exercise is Mindful Observation. This one is also easy and can be done as often as you wish. It can take up to about five minutes. It is a good one to do when your mind needs a break to refresh between tasks.
1. Choose an object, preferably something natural such as a tree outside a window or a houseplant.
2. Focus on the object. See the details such as color and texture as if you have never seen it before. Notice shapes and other aspects of it.
3. Feel the energy of the object and its place in the world.
As you go through this exercise, your mind refreshes itself and will become clearer.
One more exercise you may not know about is the Mindful Body Scan. This one might take a bit of practice to master but is a good one to do at the end of the day before going to sleep.
Mindful Body Scan
1. Start with the top of your head and mentally scan your body all the way down to your toes. Focus to feel any tension or discomfort you may have.
2. As you come to a place of tension or discomfort, try to ease it.
3. Once you have completed the first two steps, start with the top of your head again and scan down to your toes, this time sensing all areas of ease and comfort. When you have completed your scan, you should be quite relaxed.
Adding these exercises (and here are some more!) to your repertoire will give you just that much more mindfulness in your life. Many of the exercises you do may become automatic the more you do them.