SIMPLE WAYS TO PRACTICE MINDFULNESS RIGHT NOW

One of the very best things about mindfulness meditation, aside from its many physical and mental health benefits, is that it’s extremely flexible. Being mindful can take many forms, and they needn’t involve sitting on a meditation cushion chanting (though it certainly can if that’s what works for you).

The main aim of the practice is to give your mind pause from the busy thoughts that are normally running around, and even just a few minutes a day can work wonders. 

In this blog, we share some very simple mindfulness meditation strategies you can use wherever you are, to help refocus and re-centre your mind when anxiety strikes. 

Breathe

Focusing on the breath is a core of any meditation practice, and that’s because it’s a truly wonderful way to reconnect with your body, and calm your mind. Plus it’s so easy to do, and really can be done wherever you are, whatever you’re doing. There are many ways to use the breath as a meditation, you could focus on how each breath feels in your body or observe the length of each breath. But a super simple option is to just count each breath in and out. It might help to take a few deep breaths to get into the groove, but after that, simply count each breath. Normally you count up to 10 and then repeat, but if you prefer to continue, then go with it. If you get distracted along the way (and you will), start at one again. Continue as long as you need.

Zone In On A Colour

Pick a colour, your favourite colour is probably a good option, and spend a few minutes looking around you to see how many items you can find in that colour. It might be hard to find anything at first, but the more you focus, the more you’ll see. This is a great one to do while you’re out and about as your view will change as you walk, so you’ll constantly be seeing new things in your chosen colour. It’s a great technique to help you focus on what’s going on around you, rather than dwelling on unhelpful thoughts, and you may well discover something magical as you observe the world around you.

Play With Words

One of our favourite mindfulness exercises is to pick a word, any word, and then see what items you can find in your immediate surroundings that begin with each letter of that word. Say, for example, you’re on the bus. You might choose the word BUS to begin with, and you might see a Bug, an Umbrella, and a Suitcase. It’s essentially a reverse game of eye-spy where you pick the letter first and then look for objects. It doesn’t matter at all what word you choose, or what items you find starting with that letter, in fact it can make it more fun and absorbing if you decide to get a bit creative – perhaps try using whole phrases, or tricky letters of the alphabet like X, Y, Z. It’s also a great one to play with other people. However you decide to play, you’ll often find that using your brain power to focus on something other than your thoughts eases your anxiety significantly.

Listen

This is possibly the most simple mindfulness exercise there is. You can do it anywhere, any time. Just take a moment to be still and listen to what is happening around you. At first you might think there’s nothing going on, but give it a minute and we guarantee you’ll be amazed at how much you can hear. It might be traffic, other people, or even just the sound of your own breathing, but there’s always something to hear if you choose to. You may even choose to listen to your own thoughts. This is another excellent mindfulness practice – don’t do anything with them, just listen to each thought that passes by, and let it cross your mind. If you do find yourself getting caught up with thoughts, aim to refocus on something outside yourself to reset your brain. 

There are so many wonderful meditation techniques. Those are just some quick and easy ones you can do right here and now. But there are plenty more to explore.

Why not try walking meditation, or mindful eating; even physical exercise can be great for mindfulness – things like yoga, pilates, and tai chi are obvious examples, but you can be just as mindful doing a dance class or peddling a bike.

The key is to focus on what’s happening in the here and now, so try a few options and see what works for you, and take note of how it makes you feel; over time you might be amazed at the results.

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