Mindfulness, in essence, is the art of being present in the moment. It has been proven to help with stress and anxiety and to enhance happiness and inner peace.
If you think that mindfulness practice is a complicated thing that requires lots of knowledge, today I will present to you 4 simple exercises that will show you how simple it is.
1. The raisin meditation
Take a raisin, a piece of chocolate, a juicy fruit, or a different food if you don’t eat any of these (in the description below I will use raisin).
At first look at the raisin and examine its shape and color, without judging it as good or bad, beautiful or ugly.
Pay attention to its texture and its feel in your hands. (You can also smell if it is a fragrant food).
Now, place it on your tongue and feel its texture and taste.
Then begin to chew it gently and pay attention to the taste that may change during the process.
After you swallow it, notice the aftertaste.
The exercise enhances relaxation and enables enjoying even simple food.
2. Mindful walking
Take off your shoes and start pacing slowly, taking slow, measured steps.
Give your attention to every step throughout its length – from heel to toes, and to the feeling of the earth under your feet.
You can try this exercise at different times, for example, after you have taken off your shoes on your way to the shower, or on the beach.
You can also use it when you walk or run outside (with shoes in this case).
3. Inner body awareness
This is a wonderful exercise I have learned from author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle.
You may use it immediately when you wake up in the morning to quiet the stream of thinking that usually starts shortly after we wake up, to ground yourself, and basically at any time you want to be more focused, present, and relaxed.
Here’s the description of the exercise from the book A New Earth:
“If you are not familiar with “inner body” awareness, close your eyes for a moment and find out if there is life inside your hands. Don’t ask your mind. It will say, “ I can’t feel anything.” Probably it will also say, “Give me something more interesting to think about.” So instead of asking your mind, go to the hands directly. By this I mean become aware of the subtle feeling of aliveness inside them. It is there. You just have to go there with your attention to notice it. You may get a slight tingling sensation at first, then a feeling of energy or aliveness. If you hold your attention in your hands for a while, the sense of aliveness will intensify. Some people won’t even have to close their eyes. They will be able to feel their “inner hands” at the same time as they read this. Then go to your feet, keep your attention there for a minute or so, and begin to feel your hands and feet at the same time. Then incorporate other parts of the body – legs, arms, abdomen, chest, and so on – into that feeling until you are aware of the inner body as a global sense of aliveness.”
Here you can find a short inner-body guided meditation.
4. One-minute breathing exercise
This mini-meditation from Headspace may help in creating quick relaxation whenever needed, help release stress, or enhance focus.
Have a mindful day!