Like most things in life, mindfulness is a practice. When you’re learning a new skill, you continually try every day until you’re feeling comfortable with it.Then, when you’re comfortable, you step it up to make yourself uncomfortable again so that you’re continually learning and growing.
3 Simple Mindfulness Exercise
Set Up To Start
Set aside one minute a day to go through each step in the exercise. That is just three minutes a day!
Clear distractions around you. Make sure you’re not interrupted for the three minutes—phone off, door closed or get out of the house, whatever you need to do. Get a timer if you need one. Don’t use your phone, it will only distract you if it rings.
You will need there two things to help you
- Pen or pencil and
Hint: When you have completed each exercise for one minute, do each exercise for two minutes a day and just slowly build up your time. The important thing is that you can’t get these exercises wrong.
First Step – STOP, Slow Down And Breathe Mindfully
One of the most effective ways to slow down is to consciously take a breath for every movement you make. If you can move and breathe, you can do this. There’s no tricks here!
- Focus your attention on the tip of your nose where the breath is entering and exiting your body.
- Every time you move at all, take a breath.
- When you have finished your breath, take another breath and move again.
- Close your eyes if you want to, but you don’t have to.
- Then, just move and breathe at the same time.
Second Step – Mindfulness is Simply Paying Attention
You can’t think and feel at the same time. So, feeling what is around you, by opening up all your senses will help you switch off your brain and bring you into the present. When you are in the present, you are not affected by the past or the future, just what is happening right here and right now.
Just add one sense each day until you are practicing with all of them. For each exercise close your eyes and then open them when you are done and write down what you sensed.
- Listen for three things different sounds you can hear
- Smell for three different aromas that you can smell
- Put one thing in your mouth, roll it around on your tongue. What are three different flavours you can taste.
- Feel for three different textures that are touching your skin
- Look around your environment (wherever you are) and note down three things that you can see.
- What are you more aware of now? It is interesting to note down also what you see at the end of the exercise that you didn’t see at the beginning. Also do you notice that while you were feeling you didn’t think!
Again, simple, easy and effective.
Third Step – Set Up Mindfulness Reminders
Over time we get desensitized to our environment, so we need to set up reminders to keep all of our senses open. Post-it notes can be your best friend while you are becoming more aware of what is in your environment as you experience it.
Desensitising In Your Environment
It’s funny what you take for granted. I lived in Bali for a year and Singapore for a year. In these two countries, ovens in the kitchen are very uncommon—it’s simply too hot. When I rented my house in Bali, I didn’t even notice until I told someone that I didn’t have an oven.
The young Balinese man just said “no oven”, when I was looking to heat some food up. I looked a bit surprised and when I got home, sure enough, there was no oven. I had been in the house for two or three weeks and hadn’t even noticed.
It’s amazing how fascinated I became about all the things I imagined I would cook in the oven when I got home back in Australia. So, now at home, I have a little post-it note on the oven to remind me of that time.
Or, even being able to turn on the tap and drink the water. This is something you take for granted, but I found out in Bali after spending six weeks in bed sick that I needed a reminder not to drink from the tap.
So back in Australia, I have two post-it notes on my water jug. One says “gratitude” and the other “love”. These are constant reminders that clean water is something to be treasured.
What you need:
Pack of post-it notes.
Marker or a pen.
Choose three things, in your environment, that you want to remind yourself of and whack a post-it note on it.
Each week, change the post-it notes to three more or other things.
Simple, easy and effective.
I would love to hear how your exercises go. What did you notice in your environment that you are grateful for that you may have been taking for granted?
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