How to Increase Your Mindfulness

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It is a fast-paced world, one that continually pulls your mind from pillar to post turning your thoughts and emotions upside down and constantly leaving you drained. It could bring on anxiety and its adverse side effects, so it does help to have mindfulness activities that can help you get relaxed.

If you can take a few minutes off each day from your hectic schedule to enhance a positive mind-body balance, then you will have well balanced emotional and physical health. Mindfulness will help you manage stress, and its perks are that you can use it anytime, anyplace. It will get you out of the negative downward spiral of emotions that daily stress causes, resulting in a massive build-up of bad moods.

If you need to build resilience for those stressful future moments, mindfulness is the life skill you need to cultivate. Below are some easy to do mindfulness exercises, that will help calm the turbulence of a hectic day.

Mindful breathing

This is one mindfulness activity that can be done sitting or standing depending on your preference. It does feel much better when one is sitting in the lotus position though, but standing limits none of its benefits. The key to it is to sit still and focus on your breathing, at least for a minute. Remember to breathe from your belly not your chest, taking in deep breathes through your nose and exhaling through the mouth.

This exercise will help calm you down when you are upset, as you zoom in on the gentle rhythm and sound of your breathing. It will ground you in the present, de-stressing your mind and body.

Meditation

For centuries gurus have fronted meditation as one of the best methods of practicing mindfulness. While it may not be easy for beginners, you can begin meditating today and achieve mindfulness. All you need to do is find a comfortable, quiet place, calm and quiet your mind, then meditate. Here is a simple meditation guide

  1. Sit in a comfortable position, which allows you to relax, yet keep awake. Have a right posture and one that keeps your back straight. While meditating, if your shoulders slump, level them back up to prevent soreness when doing it for more extended periods. If sitting on a sit, ensure that your feet are firmly placed on the floor to keep your posture balanced.
  2. Close your eyes gently, keeping your jaw relaxed and slightly open. Keep all your facial muscles free from tension. Do not tighten your face, and if you sense it stretch, gently open eyes, lower your eyelids and gently close them again. Use this moment to release tension in every part of your body, releasing it through deep breathing.
  3. Meditation works when you have achieved the ability to clear your head, and while it is not easy to muster, it is very beneficial to relaxation. You will need to detach from your thoughts, gently hushing away your restless inner voice too. With time and practice, you will have learned the ability to recognize your intrusive thoughts and gently to let them go to clear your mind.

Mindful observation

To connect and appreciate the simple beauty and order in your environment, you need to observe it mindfully. With practice, you will learn to enjoy the simple but profound beauty in your surroundings, one that you are bound to miss out on in a hectic world. When mindfully observing, take your time to focus on an object in your environment; the clouds, a flower or a bug, and relax into watching for as long as you concentration allows it. Give it the attention you would give it, if you were seeing it for the first time, and learn to observe and connect with your world mindfully.

Listen to music

Music is used as a form of therapy in complementary medicine. Soothing classical, new-age or slow tempo beats can help you calm down, making music an essential component of mindfulness. Focus on the sounds of the song, and listen in on all the sensations, that the music awakens in you as you listen. Pinpoint every obtrusive thought and bring yourself back to the moment as you relax deeply.

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