How often do you get somewhere, and wonder ‘How on earth did I get here?’ Do you remember anything at all about the journey? Were you distracted by what you had to do later, or something that happened earlier? Are you going through life in this way, and wondering how you got to where you are today?
When we stop our minds from wondering off to the past or future, even just for a moment, we create a little bit of space and stillness.
Things appear to slow down a little, and we have successfully created a moment of mindfulness. We have become aware of what’s going on in that very moment. It’s my believe that with this awareness we create a little more control over our situations and can therefore change the outcome. We show up in our own lives, fully engaged.
Here are a few easy exercises that I practice regularly in order to slow things down for just a few minutes.
Breathing Fully. How deeply do you breathe? My guess is not very deeply at all. Mostly we breathe using only the top part of our lungs, which means that we rarely exchange the air in the bottom parts of our lungs. Taking a few deeper breaths improves your health, it reduces stress and ensures that all your organs (including the skin) can function optimally.
You can practice this anywhere; while waiting in a queue, for someone to answer the phone, for the kettle to boil or perhaps washing our hands.
It really is a simple way to feel better very quickly!
Breathing more deeply will allow you to feel calmer within a couple of minutes and you will give your mind and body a short, well earned, break.
Mindful walking. On your next walk become aware of what you are doing, how you are feeling and what your surroundings look like. As you spend more time right in the moment, your mind can let go of anything that you might have to do in the future, or things that you are still holding on to from the past.
How many times have you done this route in the past and not noticed whats around you?
Gratitude lists. What are you grateful for? Often it’s the really small things we are most grateful for – a kind word, the smell of coffee, birds singing.
In becoming aware of the small things we realise how many great things that happen every single day.
At the end of each day, write down 3 things that you are grateful for today. What brought a smile to your face?
It’s amazing what we can take for granted.
As you start to practice these exercises, something amazing will start to change about the quality of your days and weeks. And then your life.
There are so many benefits to becoming mindful but you will certainly have more energy, feel more confident, improve your relationships as well as create a balance of mind and body.