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5 Practical Mindfulness Exercises
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5 Practical Mindfulness Exercises

[3 Minute Read]

Mindfulness is a mental state characterized by being fully present and engaged in the current moment without judgment. It involves paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without becoming overwhelmed by them. Mindfulness is often associated with meditation practices, but it can also be cultivated through various daily activities.

At the bottom are 5 simple mindfulness exercises you can integrate into your daily life, but first, let's learn a little bit more about mindfulness and how it can help you achieve a healthier mindset and lifestyle.

How can mindfulness help us in our daily lives?

Reducing Stress: Mindfulness helps individuals manage stress by promoting awareness of the present moment and allowing them to respond to situations with clarity and calmness rather than reacting impulsively.

Coping with Anxiety and Depression: Mindfulness-based approaches have shown effectiveness in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. By bringing attention to the present moment, individuals can break the cycle of negative thinking and rumination.

Enhancing Self-Awareness: Mindfulness encourages self-reflection and self-awareness. This increased awareness of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors can lead to personal growth and a better understanding of oneself.

Enhancing Focus and Concentration: Practicing mindfulness improves attention and concentration. By training the mind to stay present, individuals can become more focused on tasks, leading to increased productivity and efficiency.

Improving Emotional Regulation: Mindfulness encourages a non-judgmental awareness of emotions. This can lead to better emotional regulation, helping you respond to challenging situations with greater emotional balance.

Enhancing Relationships: Being fully present in conversations and interactions with others fosters better communication and understanding. Mindfulness can improve the quality of relationships by promoting active listening and empathy.

5 Practical Mindfulness Exercises

1. Mindful Listening

Close your eyes and sit comfortably. Listen to the sounds around you. Try to identify at least 4 different sounds. Pause to pay attention to each one for a few moments.

2. Stay on Task

Your phone pings. You just received an email or a text. Take a deep breath to center yourself. If you’re in the middle of something else (or even if you just don't want to get distracted), ask yourself if the correspondence needs to be checked right now or if it can wait until you’re done with your task. Give yourself at least a few minutes before checking. If you must check the message, make a conscious effort to allow yourself time to react to the correspondence, whether that means waiting until you're done with your current task or saving it for the end of the day. Sometimes we experience anxiety around not making ourselves immediately available. It's ok to honor your own time boundaries and prioritize other tasks first.


3. Cleanse and Connect

Next time you are washing your hands or bathing, focus on your senses. Feel the warmth of the rushing water and listen to it splashing. Pay full attention to the sensations you experience.


4. Difficult Emotions

Next time you have difficulty with an emotion, pause and acknowledge the presence of the difficulty by saying to yourself “this feeling is hard for me”. Sit with the feeling and the difficulty for 30 seconds to a couple minutes. Keep in mind that "sitting with" an emotion is a term used quite broadly to describe acknowledging its presence without judgement. This does not mean that you need to literally "sit still" and experience an emotion for minutes to hours on end. Moving around can be just as helpful and another way to process a feeling. Try taking a walk or simply closing your eyes and moving your body to some music while you're experiencing the emotion. 


5. Bedtime Breathing

Practice deep breathing while lying in bed, letting go of the day. Breathe in through your nose, then breathe out through your mouth 5 times. Pick a feeling or thought that you want to “breathe out” and release.


Practicing mindfulness is not necessarily going to bring you to a state of deep enlightenment and total calm, but it can help you feel present in situations and "be ok" with the feelings and sensations you experience in the moment. Mindfulness connects you with your innate humanness, helping you show self-compassion to yourself throughout daily life.


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1 comment on 5 Practical Mindfulness Exercises

  • Fred Dorr
    Fred DorrApril 04, 2024

    Need more spefific suggestions that help to do what tge feneral titles express. Example: BEDTIME. Helpful action engage or ignore— pick one.

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