The practice of mindfulness can bring many benefits to your emotional and physical health, as well as to the relationships in your life. Mindfulness is an amazing tool for stress management and overall wellness because it can be used at virtually any time and can quickly bring lasting results. The following mindfulness exercises are simple and convenient, and can lead you to a deeper experience of mindfulness in your daily life.
Mindfulness Exercise #1: Meditation
Meditation brings many benefits in its own right, and has been one of the most popular and traditional ways to achieve mindfulness for centuries, so it tops the list of mindfulness exercises. Meditation becomes easier with practice, but it need not be difficult for beginners. Simply find a comfortable place, free of distractions, and quiet your mind. (See this article for more meditation techniques, or this one for a basic meditation for beginners.)
Mindfulness Exercise #2: Deep Breathing
That’s right: mindfulness can be as simple as breathing! Seriously, though, one of the most simple ways to experience mindfulness, which can be done as you go about your daily activities (convenient for those who feel they don’t have time to meditate), is to focus on your breathing. Breathe from your belly rather than from your chest, and try to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Mindfulness Exercise #3: Listening to Music
Listening to music has many benefits — so many, in fact, that music is being used therapeutically in a new branch of complementary medicine known as music therapy.
That’s part of why listening to music makes a great mindfulness exercise. You can play soothing new-age music, classical music, or another type of slow-tempo music to feel calming effects, and make it an exercise in mindfulness by really focusing on the sound and vibration of each note, the feelings that the music brings up within you, and other sensations that are happening “right now” as you listen. If other thoughts creep into your head, congratulate yourself for noticing, and gently bring your attention back to the current moment and the music you are hearing.