In our busy world, it’s hard to find a moment of relaxation. However, those moments are important to your health. When your mind is constantly pulled from one thought to another without a moment to recharge, stress mounts.
The great thing about mindfulness is that it’s a simple concept and there are many different ways to practice it. Mindfulness can be practiced while doing everyday chores or in a special, reserved moment of calm. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, try out these mindfulness practices below.
Of all the mindfulness activities, mindful breathing is the best one to start with. All you need is the breath in your body – no special equipment and no other people required. The practice of mindful breathing is also the basis of numerous relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga.
Start by finding a comfortable place to sit. Relax your body and take a moment to sit in the quiet. Let your breath slow down naturally. Then, on the next inhale bring awareness to your breath. Think about your breath as you exhale. Keep your attention on the rhythm of your breath – inhaling and exhaling.
Once you get the hang of mindful breathing in specific sessions, you can also practice it when you feel tension rising. Mindful breathing slows down your breath which activates the relaxation response in your body.
Even though it’s one of the simpler mindfulness activities, it’s often tough because we’re not used to controlling our breath manually. Guided breathing meditations can help. Try this one.
When you start to get stressed, mindful breathing is a powerful way to bring yourself back to calm. Spire can help you too – our visual breath guide was designed so users could follow an easy, rhythmic visual to slow down their breathing.
How often do you find yourself drifting off when a colleague, a friend, or even a family member is talking? Listening is one of the most important tools we have to connect with other humans. However, we don’t always use it to its full potential.
Mindfulness can help with that. Mindfulness helps you stay in the present moment, which means you’re not worrying about things that may or may not happen.
Practice mindful listening, speaking, and looking with compassion by following along with Deepak Chopra in this guided meditation.
Too often many of us rush through meals quickly because we feel the pressure of time and other responsibilities. But we have the responsibility to ourselves too – to be healthy, fueled with energy, and to be able to enjoy the little pleasures of life like delicious food.
Practicing mindfulness while eating is the perfect way to savor each bite of your meal; this guided meditation can help.
You can also practice mindful eating with a small snack such as a tangerine.
A hot cup of tea can go a long way in providing comfort. A big part of that is because it forces us to slow down (or be in literal hot water). Make each cup even more meaningful by finding calm with every sip.
Use this guided meditation the next time pour yourself a drink.
Chores may be a stress trigger for some of us but that time could actually be used for mindfulness practice. Transform your daily chore of dishwashing into a moment of calm and clarity with this meditation.
You can practice mindfulness with other chores like mopping or sweeping as well. Don’t stress about the chore, instead focus on each motion and being aware of the moment.
Mindful Nature Expedition
You can begin your practice of mindfulness in nature with a walk in a forest or by water. Leave your headphones behind. As you walk, listen to the sounds of nature and try to hear all the life around you.
You can also pay attention to the different sights outdoors. Try to really focus on them – think about the greens or reds in the plants, the blue in the sky, and the shapes of the creatures you see.
By using your sight and hearing, you can really tune into the awe-inspiring delights of nature.
Activities That Foster Mindfulness
Mindfulness can come in many other activities too. Have you ever found yourself “in the zone” with one of your favorite hobbies? That too can be a form of mindfulness.
Here are a few other activities you can try that foster mindfulness and help you practice staying in the moment:
- Work on a puzzle
- Color, draw or paint
- Take up gardening
- Bake some goods for family or friends
Mindfulness is a wonderful tool for finding peace of mind and decreasing stress. There’s no need to be intimidated by it. You can try any one of these activities or even use guided mindfulness meditations to help you start.
We use our mind for practically everything, yet most of us don’t spend enough time refreshing it. Mindfulness gives your brain a break from all the other thoughts of future or past by keeping you active and present in the moment.