Last week we looked at the vast array of benefits mindfulness brings. Now you can try these simple and quick mindful exercises as your very own introduction into mindfulness:

 

The Three Minute Breathing Space

 

Sit in an upright position with a straight posture. Breath in and out slowly, your belly rising on the in-breath. Examine your body sensations from your toes to your head. What emotions are present? What thoughts are you aware of?

 

Return your focus to your breathing. Feel your stomach rise slowly on the in-breath and fall on the out breath.

 

Become aware of the entirety of your body and the sensations within it whilst slowly inhaling and exhaling.

 

Compassionate Mindfulness

 

Sit in an upright position with a straight posture. Direct your attention to your breathing, inhaling whilst the stomach rises and then exhaling as the stomach falls. Breathe slowly. Imagine someone very close to you that you love. Focus on how you feel for that person. Think what you would wish for them to have in their life. Love, peace, success, financial security. Focus your attention on the intensity of compassion you have for them in this moment. Let this feeling build for a minute.

 

Now imagine that person is now you. Feel the intense compassion for the person you love as now being directed at yourself. What do you want to wish for yourself? Love, peace, success, financial security? Focus on your emotions for a further minute. Now return to your breathing and finish the exercise.

 

Morning Mindfulness

 

Choose an activity to practice mindfully that is part of your morning routine. Take brushing your teeth, for example. Notice the pressure you apply to the toothpaste tube and the changing shape of the tubes outline. Look at the colour of the toothpaste, feel the bristles of the brush on your gums. Focus on the taste of the toothpaste and how it foams. Notice the temperature of the water as you rinse your mouth. Complete the exercise as you finish brushing your teeth.

 

Next week discover how to integrate mindfulness into your everyday life.

 

Did you try the exercises? What impact did they have on you? Did you find it frustrating at first or relaxing? Did you do two of the exercises each day for a week? If so ,what did you find were the benefits? Please comment and share your experiences with our community to gain insight, encouragement and support.

 

Exercises:

 

  1. Do two of the three exercises given in this article daily for a week.

 

Further Resources:

 

‘GUIDED Mindfulness Meditation CD series’ by Jon Kabat-Zinn, available on Amazon