Mindfulness exercises are great for reducing the symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress when used as your daily routine.
There are many ways that mindfulness exercises can be incorporated into your life to improve your wellbeing.
Mindfulness will help bring you into the present moment to stop worrying about the past or future and enjoy life more.
While it is impossible to do all of the following mindfulness exercises everyday, I am sure you will find a few that will benefit you.
18 Mindfulness Exercises For Living In The Present Moment
1. Wake Up Early
Waking up early allows you to add more to your day by giving you the extra time to be creative and practice meditation.
These extra hours are a better source of quality time when you feel more fresh, and ready to tackle the day ahead.
If you get your mindset in the right place in the morning, and become more mindful, the day ahead will become easier.
2. Mindfulness by Increasing Gratitude
When we begin our day with gratitude, we train our minds to become positive, rather than focusing on the on coming problems that we might face ahead.
Think of things in your life that you are grateful for in your life as it is now. These can be big or small things, or something in between, and write them down.
They could be:
- A home
- A job
- Enough food
- The sunset
- Your health
- Your partner
- A cup of tea
If done first thing in the morning, this will start you day off in a positive mood.
As your day progresses you might come across other things to be grateful for, just be aware and appreciate these things.
3. Body Scan Meditation
When you feel stressed it is common that it will effect your body.
Shallow breathing, tense shoulders, a stomach in knots, and in other ways that make you body feel uncomfortable.
The body scan meditation is a mindfulness practice that can be used daily to help you identify what you are feeling, and where you are feeling it. You will learn to release the stress in your body and mind.
4. Morning Breathing Meditation
Reduce your stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts and improve your concentration skills by using the morning breathing meditation.
This can take as little as 5 minutes that can change your life, and you will be more prepared to calm yourself down, when you feel your temper could flare up.
5. Make Your Bed Mindfully
One of the easiest forms of mindfulness exercises is to make your bed mindfully.
If you make your bed first thing when you get up, you will of accomplished the first keystone habit of the day.
This will set the tone for the day ahead, and when you eventually go to bed at night, you will automatically reminded of this first habit of the day.
6. Take a Cold Shower
Being more mindful while taking a cold shower is extremely beneficial, even though it may take time to get use to it.
But once you become accustomed to the cold showers, you will find that it is very mindful and will become a good habit to maintain.
You will notice that while you are taking the cold shower, your mind will not be able to think, as you will be concentrating to endure the cold. Basically a form of mindfulness meditation.
7. Look Into The Mirror And Smile
Mindfulness exercises can be used every time you look into a mirror, no matter where you are.
Daft as this seems, especially the first time you try it, look into a mirror and smile.
Smiling actually slows down the heart and relaxes the body to release endorphins, and reduces the stress hormone cortisol.
Another thing that you could do while looking in the mirror, is to say, ” I love you”.
While at first this seems strange and conceited, it is not, it improves your self confidence.
8. Start Your Day With a Morning Mindfulness Meditation Routine
Many people find it hard to practice mindfulness meditation, if your one of those people, start by just doing it for 1 minute a day, and increase it gradually.
The benefits of mindfulness meditation is to stop the internal negative chattering, and learn to control your thoughts.
Its actually not hard to learn how to meditate, and with practice, you will gain control over your thoughts, instead of the thoughts gaining control over you.
9. Start a Journal
Starting a journal is a good way to put your thoughts to paper, as it liberates you from your internal chatter.
If you find that during the day something or someone stresses you out, you will find writing it down helps.
You will feel that you are an impartial person looking from the outside in.
This will help you to put things in perspective, and if these future events happen again, you will find you will be more prepared.
Once you have written in your journal, you will be able to just close the book and carry on the day.
10. Eat More Mindfully
When you eat your breakfast, dinner or tea, try to eat more mindfully using the senses of touch, sight, smell and taste.
Even if you are having a snack, toast, or a piece of fruit, or drinking a cup of tea or coffee, try to be more mindful.
Slowing down the way you eat your food, makes you appreciate it more, and in return you will find you might eat less, leading to weight loss.
To learn how to train the mind to mindfully eat, try the raisin meditation.
11. Connect With Nature
When you find yourself walking the dog or walking to the shops, be more mindful to what is around you.
Instead of rushing to your destination, try to slow down and see and smell what is around you, the birds, flowers, or look at the clouds in the sky.
If you have more time on your hands, go for a picnic in your local woods, or visit the beach to truly see the wonders of nature.
Spending time with nature can boost your immune system, relieve symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety, improve concentration and creativity, and improve your memory.
12. Practice Sun Salutations
Practicing the sun salutation in yoga, includes physical poses (asanas) designed to purify the body, and provide physical strength and stamina.
Yoga uses the energy in the body, through pranayama or energy control, as well as breath control, to still the mind to attain a higher state of awareness.
13. Use Affirmations
As a mindfulness habit affirmations are positive phrase that you repeat to yourself to describe how you want to feel about yourself.
When you use affirmations, use them in the present tense, as if you are already this person.
Because in time you will become the person who you want to be.
Try using positive affirmations first thing in the morning, to start yourself off to good start to the day.
14. Mindfulness Awareness
The mindful awareness exercise is to heighten your awareness to your everyday simple tasks that you do.
Think of everything you do everyday that you take for granted, take washing up for example.
When you wash the pots, take notice of every detail you do.
The filling of the washing up bowl with water and washing up liquid.
The way the bubbles rise up as the water pours in the bowl.
The way your hands feel with the cloth as you clean the cups and plates.
The temperature of the water, is it scalding hot or Luke warm?
15. Mindful Listening
The mindful listening exercise is designed to open your ears in a non judgemental way, to not let your past influence you.
When we listen to music that is familiar to us, we might be reminded of a past negative event.
So try and find a piece of music you have never heard before, and close your eyes and put your headphones on.
Don’t judge the music, just try to listen to the separate instruments and vocals, and analyse each one.
Let yourself drift off into the musical world.
Mindful listening can also be practiced to develop deeper relationships and mindfulness. When engaging in conversation, try to listen in the present moment with full attention and focus.
Most people when they engage in conversation, listen with the intent to reply.
Try to listen with the intent to understand instead.
Most people like it when someone is giving their full attention when they are talking.
16. Mindfulness Immersion
In life we seem to be on automatic pilot to finish our tasks in hand, and not fully enjoy them.
The intention of this exercise is to cultivate contentment in the moment, instead of reaching the end goal.
Instead of working through your tasks, constantly thinking about finishing, become aware of every step you take.
Fully immerse yourself to the task in hand, take it out of routine by aligning yourself with it physically, mentally and spirituality.
You might find you enjoy your job once again.
17. Find Your Flow State
To enter into the flow state, you must find an activity to get yourself lost in, and totally immerse yourself.
You must be totally absorbed in what you are doing, resulting in losing the track of time.
This is ‘the flow state’.
Find your passion in life, and find yourself a new creative hobby, or a engage in a physical activity.
That you know that you will get yourself lost in, and will look forward to doing it again and again.
18. Mindful Walking Meditation
Another simple mindfulness exercise is the mindful walking meditation, which can be done either indoors or outdoors.
This exercise uses all of the five senses which will improve your mindfulness, and make you more aware and focused.
I hope you find this mindfulness exercises list useful and beneficial, and find your inner peace.