Mindful exercises? Meditation exercises? You have heard of folks talking about the benefits of it, very animatedly. Okay, so you have gone down the path of training yourself on Meditation and Mindfulness. Probably, you should have given more time in instilling into your routine. Why don’t we give it one more attempt?
If you were to ask 10 random people around you, what do they not want to lose in life, they will all come to one single answer-inner peace and happiness. They may word it differently, but the framework of their wish would be the same. How do you achieve this seemingly mammoth of a wish? Simple! It is self-discipline by itself.
Plethora of Mindfulness exercises
There’s a plethora of Mindfulness exercises, simple habits to inculcate. There are 5 minute to 30 minute exercises. Pick up whichever suits your time frame and make it your pathway to mental wellness.
Mindfulness of your sense organs
When you brew your cup of hot tea or coffee, the normal thing to do is unmindfully gulp it down or sip your beverage, while you catch up on the news on your smartphone or read the newspaper. Let’s do it differently now.
- Stash away your gadget and the Newspaper.
- Find a place to Sit comfortably. Hold the hot/warm cup of beverage. Get all your attention to your palms. Look at the beverage. Feel the warmth in your palm. The rich brownish color.
- Next, take a few sips of the beverage. Feel the sweetness, if it is sweetened, on your taste buds. While you take another sip, take a deep sniff of the aroma.
- Repeat as many times as possible you would want to. More importantly, observe how you are in the moment.
A simple cup of hot coffee/tea can be a Mindful exercise to follow. By being in the moment of drinking your beverage, it keeps your mind and energy away from the stressful parts of your life. You can do a variation of it with an ice-cold glass of a drink of your choice. Trail the condensation and the droplets, when they trickle down the glass.
Connect the dots
This is my personal favorite! You need a paper and color sketch pen.
- Draw dots in random placement on the paper.
- Now connect the dots. You should touch upon each dot only once or twice. The lines can go zigzag.
For those 10-15 minutes, all your senses are alert and mindful to connect the dots. Try this mindful exercise, whenever anxiety gets the better of you. It shuts down the mental chatter.
Seeing to see
Yes, you read that right! Most do not see to see. We just look at things and do not see beyond, We just look at the signboards. We don’t see the font, the color, we don’t stop to see.
- Next time look out of your window. You may be driving, you may be waiting for your train or travelling in one. You are bound to have a window out look out. Observe the objects in front of you. Look at the color. Trace the object’s contours of the shape.
- Avoid labelling it or even judging it. Just be in the moment.
- If you are distracted by any thought, which is normal, gently pull yourself back to seeing the object. You will observe that your anxious mind is calmer now.
Most of us are not aware that we are breathing. Let us put it in a pattern.
- What you do is: lie down comfortably on the floor. You take a quick, full, deep breath through your nose.
- Hold the breath for a count of 5 to begin with.
- Exhale forcefully and completely through your mouth with a Hooosh sound.
- Start slow with 2 repetitions and progress till 5.
This will clear the stress clouding your ability to think straight and arrive at solutions. This mindfulness exercise helps in gathering your thoughts to the present moment.
Mandala is a pattern drawing generally symmetric. It has intricate patterns of circles and lines entwined into each other. A Mandala coloring book is a good investment for mindful exercise. Coloring Mandalas is a great way of being in the present. It enhances focus on the present moment and motor skill. Coloring mindfully takes away the thoughts of fear of the future and guilt of the past.
Watch your body in your mind
- This is a widely practiced mindfulness exercise. Sit straight on a chair with your palms on your thighs or lie down on your back, on the floor with your hands stretched away from your body and palms facing the sky. Keep your legs stretched apart. Gently close your eyes. Breathe softly.
- Bring all your focus to your lower body. Move up to both calf muscles and your knees. Move up to your hip and lower back muscles.
- Keep breathing softly. If your thoughts wander, gently draw to focus on your body. Move your focus to your middle body. Shift your focus to your lungs, heart, and chest.
- Keep a check on your breath and your mindfulness while you focus on your fingers, palm, wrist elbows and arms.
- Focus on your upper back muscles, nape of your neck, shoulders, throat, frontal neck. Move up to your jaw, teeth, tongue, lips, gums, nose cheeks, eyes, eyelids, eyebrows, forehead, your hair, and the crown of your head.
All the above mindfulness exercises will give you a head start towards mental wellness. By practicing mindfulness, not only anxiety and stress, also anger, addiction, food cravings, and depression may be a thing of the past.
All that you need to work on first things first is your determination to set a routine to practice it. And then stick to it. I suggest you try all the above exercises for mindfulness. Later, you can choose to adopt at least two of the above and instil them as a habit.
To wrap up
Feeling stressed and talking about it is a thing of the past. In Today’s age, it is all about dealing with it and how! Mindfulness exercises are simply about being in the very moment you are inhaling your next breath. This does not come easy. You need to train yourself to consciously be in the present; the gift-hamper of benefits, which I am sure, you will not want to forego!
About Us: Evolve strives to make mental wellness a priority. Download the EvolveApp and practice the ‘journeys’ to an anxiety-free lifestyle. It helps to make a de-stressed lifestyle a habit. EvolveApp is judged the best app of 2021.
From sharing her views on blogs in MoTA to being a blogger in it, Lakshmi Srinath has been writing her thoughts since 2010. Thanks to a persuasive face-reader, she took Content writing on to a next level since August 2021 with a certification in the same, from Henry Harvin Education, India. When she is not among her thoughts and words writing content, you will find her pursuing her hobby in art or gardening or just gossiping the latest on insta, with her daughter. She staunchly believes that mental wellness leads to physical wellness. Lakshmi lives in Pune, India with her daughter and husband.