Mindfulness practice can help us increase our ability to regulate emotions, decrease stress and manage anxiety and depression. It can help us to focus our attention and observe our thoughts and feelings without judgment.
10 Mindfulness Exercises
Here are 10 mindfulness exercises to do throughout the day to guide you along the path to find more peace and contentment in your life.
“Let Your Stresses Float Away”
- Visualization can be a powerful meditation tool. If you are feeling anxious, visualize a hot air balloon and imagine you are putting all your stress and negativity into the balloon. Then watch it gently float away into the distance, taking your worries and concerns with it.
“Use Visual Cues”
- Being mindful is not difficult to do—it’s the remembering that’s the key! Place inspiring pictures and notes around your home to remind you and your family to “be mindful,” “pause” and “take a breath.” These visual triggers can be all you need to snap you back to the present moment.
- The non-stop stream of information we receive from our cellphones, computers and TVs can be overwhelming. It’s a good idea to give our mental “inbox” a break from time to time. Turn off your devices, hide all gadgets and give yourself some time off from the endless technological invasion in your life.
“Breath Into Tension”
- If you encounter a difficult situation today, notice which parts of your body feel tense, place your hand over the area, then breathe into the area to help you relax. Remind yourself that challenging moments always pass.
- Whenever you arrive somewhere, give yourself a moment to “check-in.” Become aware of how your body is feeling—especially any aches and tensions. Take note of what emotions you are carrying. Acknowledge all of this, taking no more than a minute, and you will be centered and present, ready to move on.
“Connect With People”
- Take time out to sit on a bench or a window seat in a café and watch people go by. Don’t read, talk or catch up on social media—just people-watch. Feel connected to everyone and watch them with an open mind and with compassion.
“Stop The Clock”
- Plan a mindful weekend without clocks or watches. Listen to your body instead—you choose when to get up, when to eat, what tasks you feel like doing and the length of time you spend on them.
“Conquer Information Overload”
- Reduce your information consumption. Cancel subscriptions for magazines you barely have time to read and unsubscribe from catalogs, junk mail and emails. A cluttered mind is a stressed mind. Free up your mind and make space for the whispers of your heart and soul.
“Affirm It, Believe It”
- Affirmations are quiet reminders that you repeat to yourself, either during your meditation or as you go about your day. They can be particularly helpful if you find you are stuck in a negative thought loop. Choose an affirmation that has meaning for you, such as, “Everything that is happening now is happening for my ultimate good” or “I am at peace with the world.”
“Things to be Grateful For”
- Start a daily gratitude journal. List all the positive things in your life—from the small things that make you smile, such as the view from your window, to the bigger things, such as your health or your family. At night, list three things you were grateful for during the day and you’ll soon start focusing naturally on the positives.
About Grace Kim:
Grace Kim is a Resident in Counseling providing services at the Woodbridge location. She is a Qualified Mental Health Professional for Children (QMHP-C) and a National Certified Counselor (NCC). Grace has extensive experience in providing outpatient counseling services to children, adolescents, and young adults. She also has sufficient experience working with adult clients with longstanding substance abuse issues. She is an individual who has had her own share of mental health challenges and, with the help of those around her, has been able to overcome obstacles and barriers in her life. To learn more about Grace, visit HERE.