Since I have been studying mindfulness during the epidemic I have been curious to find what are some examples of mindfulness. Just like any practice, we need an organized approach to start simple and then build upon itself. It wasn’t easy to discover in one place so I made it a point to bring you the latest that I discovered on my journey.
Day 1:Examples of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
Breathing is simple and a great way to get started. This meditation is better for those of us who have a busy mind and often feel scattered, overwhelmed during the day. Let’s do the 3 Minute Breathing Space.
- First (breath)minute: Ask yourself “How am I doing right now ?” focus on the thoughts, feelings, and sensations and give them a voice by speaking in phrases. For example:” I am feeling tired, alone, content, etc…”
- The second (breath) minute focus on your awareness of breathing
- The third (breath) have some awareness and focus out to how your body is feeling
Day 2: Mindfulness Exercises For Anxiety
It has been noted that mindfulness training has been helpful for people with diagnosed anxiety or a tendency toward anxious thoughts. In 2017 in the journal Psychiatry Clinics of North America it was found mindfulness-based interventions are effective in reducing anxiety and depression symptom severity in a range of individuals.
Here is a simple exercise to get started :
- Make yourself aware of the sensations that arise in your body when you are anxious;
- Be present and with the moment
- Allow the anxious and distressing thoughts to happen. If you want to learn more here are more exercises from Positive Psychology
Day 3:Free Mindfulness Exercises
If you drive and want to feel less stressed in 15 seconds this is a great exercise at the moment. While you should keep your eyes on the road driving can allow for those moments and thoughts to slow down.
Living in New York I am bombarded with irate drivers reckless moves on the road and TRAFFIC!
Here is a driving mindfully exercise which can be an excellent opportunity to build your mindfulness muscle, increase your sense of connection to others, and restore some balance and perspective. This exercise brings me to the present moment during traffic:
- First, take a deep breath. This creates space between the stressor let’s say the traffic and your reaction. You also increase your oxygen and in this space lies perspective and choice
- Ask yourself what you need. The balance is brought on by knowing what you need at the moment
- Give yourself what you need. If it’s calm that you need you can scan to find it’s opposite like tension and soften into the need. You can add some phrases of self-compassion, such as, “May I be at ease, may I feel safe, may I be happy.”
- Look around and recognize that all the other drivers are just like you- with caution. We all have something in common: we want to feel safe, have a sense of ease, and to be happy. You can offer your mindful practice by saying: “May you be at ease, may you feel safe, may you be happy.”
- Take another deep breath. When you feel the frustration of traffic rising, choose whatever you need to work on, and offer that condition to others. Breathe in, breathe out, you’ve planted a seed of happiness.
Day 4:Mindfulness Exercises for Depression
The benefits of mindfulness include depression in that people are focused on their moment sensation instead of the past or present emotions which helps them take a moment to pause, notice their thoughts and feelings, and choose a response that is not based on their present emotions. It also teaches that saying ‘no’ builds confidence and balance in their own lives. It also allows people to be present to others which foster relationships and effectively relate to others
The “Eye of the Hurricane” meditation is helpful in a way of dealing with depression.
This mediation has 2 parts: in the first part, you will find a calm place to sit and sit up tall. Breathe deeply 3 times to cultivate awareness of your body and any physical sensations that are present.
The calmest part of the storm is the eye of the hurricane. Imagine although our emotions, feelings, and thoughts are strong we can know that this inner core is peaceful Through this meditation, As the emotions creep up you can focus your attention on the calm center and visualize yourself in the center.
The second part is a reflection. Ask yourself:” how did it feel to take an observing stance? Did any other feelings arise through this meditation?”
This exercise will help you to clear your mind to worry about the past or the future and bring you to the present moment.
Day 4: 2-Minute Mindfulness Exercise
This exercise works well if you are not driving and you may be behind a desk or sitting. You can do this
- Tune inwards: by taking a brief body scan by taking a single, deep breath close your eyes. Now take your attention to where your body is and how it’s feeling If you’re feeling any tension anywhere, see if you can allow that to soften, or adjust your body as needed.
- Tune in to your environment and notice the sounds inside your environment or outside your environment. Be aware of how sounds have a nature of disappearing and reappearing, and also allow your mind chatter to voice itself. Allow for all of this.
- Turn inwards, open your eyes, and notice thoughts and emotions noticing how there are also visuals in your environment. Notice how you feel. Take stock of how you’re feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally.
- Here is a special meditation that allows for the 2-minute meditation:
Day 5 Practice Mindfulness by Waking up to a Mindful Practice
When I start my day if I set an intention I can get my mind less distracted. Setting an intention can change your day, making it more likely that your actions and responses— especially during moments of difficulty—will be more mindful and compassionate.
Do this exercise before checking emails or your phone
- Upon awakening in the morning do a quick check-in with your body sensations with your eyes closed, sit in your bed, or a chair in a relaxed posture.
- Take 3 long deep breaths noticing how it rises and falls on your belly each time
- Now ask yourself “What is my intention for today?” If it doesn’t come to you right away be patient with yourself and ask these follow-up questions :
- How might I show up today to have the best impact?
- What quality of mind do I want to strengthen and develop?
- What do I need to take better care of myself?
- During difficult moments, how might I be more compassionate to others and myself?
- How might I feel more connected and fulfilled?
- Set your intention for the day. For example, you could say “Today, I am in harmony and I am kind to myself and others; will have fun; and eat well,” or anything else you feel is important.
- Paying attention throughout the day, check-in with yourself. Pause, throughout the day to take a breath, and revisit your intention. Notice, as you become more and more conscious of your intentions fully present for each day, how the quality of your communications, relationships, and mood shifts.
Day 6: Mindful eating a Daily life Mindfulness Practice
Every day we eat and mindfulness helps us notice the pleasurable experiences and make it richer than before. It satisfies the gut and brain but more subtle senses and needs. When we bring our full attention to our bodies and what we are truly hungry for, we can nourish all our pangs of hunger. Try doing this:
- Take one deep breath before eating. This pausing causes us to slow down and allow for a more calm transition to our meals. Begin by closing your eyes and take 8-10 deep breaths before you start your meal.
- Listen to your body. After the breathing exercise ask yourself “How hungry am I?” What are the physical sensations that you are hungry for? Is it the sounds the dry mouth etc?
- Eat according to your hunger. Now that you can gauge how hungry you are, you can more mindfully choose what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. This mindfulness meditation can point you to what is needed to quell that hunger
- Practice peaceful eating. Slow down the pace of eating and take some deep breaths to relax. You get to savor the food in a relaxed way.
- If you don’t love it, you don’t have to eat it. Remember the rule of three. Take 3 bites mindfully get to know the texture, consistency, and temperature of each bite
Day 7 Body Scan Mindfulness Meditation
It’s fairly easy and easily accessible for most beginners. If you want to try this right now
Try this 30 minute guided narrative by expert and founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Jon Kabat Zinn:
- Step 1: The Body Scan begins with the participants lying on their backs with their palms facing up and their feet falling slightly apart.
- Step 2: Then lie very still for the duration of the exercise, and move with awareness if it becomes necessary to adjust your position;
- Step 3: Begin by bringing awareness to your breath, noticing the rhythm, the experience of breathing in, and expelling out.
- Step 4: Next, bring attention to the body: how it feels, the texture of clothing against the skin, the contours of the surface on which the body is resting, the temperature of the body and the environment;
- Toes of both feet;
- The rest of the feet (top, bottom, ankle);
- Lower legs;
- Pelvic region (buttocks, tailbone, pelvic bone, genitals);
- Lower back;
- Upper back (back ribs & shoulder blades);
- Hands (fingers, palms, backs, wrists);
- Arms (lower, elbows, upper);
- Face and head (jaw, mouth, nose, cheeks, ears, eyes, forehead, scalp, back top of the head);
- Lastly the “blowhole” (Fleming & Kocovski, 2007).
- Step 5: Bring your awareness to the parts of the body that are tingling, sore, or feeling particularly heavy or light, note any areas of their body where they don’t feel any sensations at all or are hypersensitive.
- After the Body Scan is complete and the participants feel ready to come back to the room, they can slowly open their eyes and move naturally to a comfortable sitting position.
The one pearl takeaway is to pay attention is the theme to practice mindfulness like it’s an everyday life activity. Take one thing from this post and use it today and I hope you get the benefits of mindfulness with it. Mindfulness reduces stress and other entities via mindfulness-based stress reduction.