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.
Here are 10 additional mindfulness exercises to do throughout the day to guide you along the path to find more peace and contentment in your life. (Also check out my article, “How to be Mindful Part 1“)
“Forgive And Forget”
- Open your heart and soul to forgiveness, both for yourself and others. Holding on to resentment or anger only fuels other negative emotions. Be open to healing and love.
“Ordinary Into Extraordinary”
- Take a daily routine activity, such as cleaning your teeth, and be curious and alert about yourself, noticing every sensory detail. Pay attention to the contours of your mouth and the sensation of the brush against each tooth. Notice if you’re thinking ahead to what you’re doing next and if so, gently bring your attention back to the present.
“Choose Your Reaction”
- Strong emotions, such as anger, hurt or fear, can erupt very quickly. But there’s usually a split second in which you can pause before you react. When you feel something inside you being triggered, become mindful of your breath. Notice the sensations in your body. Realize you have a choice about what you do next before you react.
- We often find that when we listen to others we are concentrating on what to say next, filling up our minds with our own options or even speaking out of turn. Try listening with mindfulness—hear the person without judgment or the need to immediately express a view. Be aware that the word “listen” can be shuffled around to spell “silent.”
“Pause Before Answering The Phone”
- Allow the telephone to ring three times before you reply so that you can become aware of your breath and speak from a centered and calm space.
“Take Advantage Of Lines”
- Turn inconvenient moments in your day into opportunities for mindfulness. If you’re stuck in a line at the supermarket or in a traffic jam, become aware of how your body, posture and thoughts are affected by the situation.
“Tune In to Your Body”
- The next time you seek out a sugary snack, stop and think about how you are feeling. People often turn to food in an attempt to self-soothe or deal with stressful situations. Recognize that you are looking for something to eat that you think will bring you satisfaction. Sit down and be fully present with this craving. Awareness can often lessen the desire. Maybe you don’t need that chocolate cookie after all!
- Positivity is key to a mindful experience. Decide that from now on you will stop spreading bad news and only share good! Read something positive before you go to sleep at bedtime, and repeat this affirmation to yourself at regular intervals: “My thoughts are filled with positivity and my life is brimming with happiness.”
“Do Less, Notice More”
- Instead of cramming as much as possible into your day, do less and do it more slowly, more fully and with more concentration. Take the time to luxuriate in whatever activity you’re doing, whether you’re cooking supper or chatting to a friend. You should find the experience relaxing and fulfilling when you’re not rushing through tasks.
“You Are Not Alone”
- When you find yourself caught up in a tangle of negative thoughts, place your hand on your heart. See if you can feel it beating and notice how your chest rises and falls with every breath. Think of all the heartbeats doing the same thing across the world, then move on with a renewed sense of shared experience.
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.