Modern technology has made our lives thoroughly convenient. Life has never been so full of options. There are all sorts of speedy transportation, instant communication and lavish comforts. But this advanced lifestyle has also robbed us of the originality of our emotions. We spend too much time thinking, imagining and planning while going about our daily routine. As a result, feelings of worry, anxiety or fear can easily interfere with our thought processes. Over time, we could start losing ourselves. We could become unproductive and ineffective, or even alienated and empty.
Sadly, most of us do not pay as much attention to our minds as we do to our bodies. But just like our bodies demand some physical labor to stay fit, our minds need some activity too. Many people, especially spiritual & religious groups, athletes, fitness lovers, health-conscious individuals and patients with different kinds of health problems, try various methods to avoid this state of detachment. One of the most common and reliable practices known to mankind is “Meditation”. It is also one of the oldest.
Meditation comes in all colors. The one we’re interested in is a specific form of meditation called “mindfulness meditation” or “mindful exercises” which helps you channel your focus and attention in the right direction. “Mindful exercises” are simple ways to practice mindfulness. These easy exercises can help you experience thoughts and emotions with greater balance and acceptance. Before I talk more about mindful exercises, let me shed some light on what mindfulness means.
Mindfulness meditation helps you channel your focus & attention in the right direction.
What Does Mindfulness Mean?
Mindfulness quite simply is a state of being aware and conscious.
It means being aware of the most minute moments of life. It means being alert of the slightest sensations of your body and finding delight in it. Mindfulness means being aware of where you are in the very now. It means having an accepting and open mind with no judgements whatsoever.
Does it sound too boring?
Reaching this state of awareness takes practice but most importantly patience. Your journey to achieving this higher state of consciousness may be slow at first, but gradually you’ll get comfortable with it. Moreover, the process doesn’t have to be boring.
Mindful exercises or Mindfulness meditation is a form of meditation in which you focus on being aware of what you’re sensing and how you’re feeling in any present moment without any judgment.
Many religions and traditions practice unique techniques to attain mindfulness or the state of awareness. These techniques are collectively referred to as Mindful exercises or Mindfulness meditation. It is believed to have its roots originated from Buddhism, though not necessarily.
Studies suggest that mindful exercises can prove to be a key element in your overall well-being. And research has also shown that it can bring improvement in both your physical and mental state.
Let’s take a closer look at the main benefits of mindful exercises and how it can bring positive changes in your health, attitude, and behavior.
Meditation can bring positivite changes in physical & mental state in our lives.
Benefits of Mindful Exercises
1. Mindful exercises can improve your physical health in numerous ways. It can help you fight various health-related issues such as sleeplessness, stress, heart diseases, lower blood pressure, pain and digestive troubles etc. A healthy system means stronger resistance to potential health issues. Being physically fit and free from poor health conditions improves your chances of success and true happiness.
2. Better mental health is another major gift of mindfulness. Psychologists and psychotherapists have confirmed that regular practice of mindful exercises can heal many mental disorders. Anxiety, depression, substance abuse or drug addiction, eating disorders, and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) are some of the mental issues that can be controlled and taken care of by practicing mindfulness meditation. (Source)
3. Improved overall well-being is a natural outcome of practicing mindful exercises. Being mindful or attentive of your focus can ease up your worries about the future or regrets of the past. The less concerned or anxious you are, the better you’d be able to manage the tasks at hand. Mindfulness can increase your capacity to deal with situations that are not in your favor. These exercises when performed on a daily basis can guarantee you a satisfied and colorful life. (Source)
There are many mindful exercises to practice mindfulness, from easy ones to rather tricky ones. But the ultimate goal of any kind of mindful exercise is to “be in the present”.
I have arranged here some of the basic mindful exercises that you can begin with and practice on your own (No equipment needed)
Mindfulness’ ultimate goal is “to be in the present”.
Types of Mindful or Mindfulness Exercises
1. Breathe and focus on your breathing. Whenever you come across negative thoughts, sit down, take deep breaths and focus on your inhale and exhale. You can close your eyes to stay focused on breathing deeply. Taking a few minutes off your busy routine can make a huge difference to your thought process.
2. Pay Attention to the details, as in everything you do. We’re always engaged and preoccupied with some or other piece of work and can hardly spare any time towards the little things. There is an intimate bond between our senses and our environment, but most of us have ignored it due to our busy lifestyles. With little practice, you can form that natural connection again and find joy in simple pleasures. Re-learn to notice birds chirping outside the window, or the sound of wind through the trees.
Likewise, try to feel your senses at work. Feel how our sense of touch, sound, sight, smell and taste are at play.
For example, when you drink water, feel its refreshing wetness and that smoothness with which it sips down your throat.
Or just be nosy and smell around you. Find out what’s cooking!
The idea here is to get as attentive as possible but with no judgement. By practicing this technique, you will develop an appreciation for little events and tiny moments. Moments which usually do not contribute much in practical life but have a larger role to play when it comes to unlocking the true potential of your mind.
Take the time to appreciate the tiny little things in life.
3. Accept yourself and everything that’s happening around you. Be kind to yourself. Have no judgements and make no opinions. The human mind is a complicated processor. It is always up, and running and no matter how hard you try thoughts have a tendency of showing up without invitation. So, when an uninvited thought pops up in your mind, let it pass, and don’t dwell on it afterwards. Remember this simple technique and you can prepare your mind to come out victorious in any terrible situation life throws at you.
“Acknowledge every thought but don’t serve them tea.”
4. Be in the moment means to have undivided attention at what you do. When you perform an action with a steady focus, the quality of your work improves automatically. But the concept is not strictly limited to a physical action. It goes beyond your physical and intellectual functions, and can help you spiritually too. In fact, the foremost purpose of mindfulness is to achieve the state of being in the very now.
5. Body Scan, the mindfulness way, is an important and organized form of mindful exercise. It is performed while laying on your back with extended legs and palms facing upwards. While staying still, try to focus on each part of your body, starting from toe to head or vice versa. Try to feel and focus on different sensations and thoughts running throughout your body and mind.
Mindful exercise can also be done while laying on your back.
6. Sitting Mindfully is another form of mindful meditation in which you sit relaxed with feet on the ground and palms on your lap while breathing in and out. Focus on your breathing in and out. Feel the sensations if any, while you breathe in and out.
It is very normal for your mind to wander around and interrupt your focus during mindful exercises, but do not lose patience and just gently bring your attention back. Over time, your capacity to overcome these distractions will grow and you’ll have a better experience and fruitful results.
7. Mindful Walking is another practice based on the same concept of mindfulness. Pick a place and walk slowly, be aware of every step and movement, and try to feel the balance. Keep walking slowly, and be aware of all the sensations. And, mind the gap please!
8. Running Mindfully means running and observing your motion and your surroundings.
So, the next time you go out for a jog, notice the different surfaces you come across and the sensation they cause. Feel the wind striking against your body or the stream of sweat running down your neck. Inhale from your nose and exhale from your mouth. Shortly, you’ll get to see the difference yourself.
9. Mindful coloring & drawing has been proven to be an effective stress buster. While coloring, try to focus on different colors and the sensation of toying around with it. Now you understand why babies love to draw!
You can also practice mindfulness while coloring and drawing.
The list of mindful exercises is endless but the idea is plain and simple. That is to do everything with 100% of your attention and focus. You can apply mindfulness into any aspect of your life and gain peace and prosperity.
By engaging mindfulness, or awareness and consciousness to your normal day-to-day tasks you can turn any chores into a mindful practice. For instance,
- Mindful Eating
- Mindful Listening
- Mindful Movement
- Mindful Shower
- Mindful Driving
- Mindful Gardening
- Mindful Sleep meditation
- Mindful Workout etc.
Or any other activity like making your bed mindfully, looking at yourself in the mirror mindfully, washing your dishes or cleaning your desk mindfully, and so on.
The bottom line is to be mindful of what you’re doing in the present moment.
There are many advanced and guided techniques as well, designed to motivate you for better focus and attention. I have mentioned some of them below for you to have an idea.
The list goes on. There may be well over 1800-2000 mindful exercises ready to use. Again, with so many options available, you might be wondering where to begin. But choosing one to begin with totally depends on your expectations.
Mindfulness Exercises is a wonderful book with a collection of innovative mindful exercises. It’d be a great way to begin your journey into mindfulness. Click now and get yours absolutely free.
Did you know that there may be over 1800-2000 mindful exercises to choose from?
How & Why?
Mindful exercises don’t take too much of your efforts. All they need is your complete focus and attention. Start with the basic ones like mindful breathing and mindful acceptance, as explained above. Once you’re comfortable and determined, you can go for the more structured ones like mindful body scan and mindful sitting, for example.
Want to make it fun? Try Mindfulness Cards for an inspiring way to practice mindful exercises anytime and anywhere.
Practice mindfulness daily for 6 months and before long it’ll be effortless. Soon this habit will become your lifestyle. You’ll have plenty of awareness and consciousness in your life. As time goes by, you’ll have a better connection with yourself and others. Plus, you will feel closely attached with nature.
It is the key to a healthier, happier and successful life. Tempting enough!
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your MB Zen Board!!
A freelance writer, a poet and an avid reader. He’s a passionate wordsmith who believes in writing content which is simple, beautiful and informative. He’s a practised communicator coached by British Academy.
Apart from being a playful scribbler, he’s a hardcore music fan and loves exploring space and science. He is also a spiritual soul and fitness enthusiast. Yoga, meditation and workout are some of his favourite health activities.