Mindfulness is a set of golden techniques that can help people manage their physical and mental health to gain more satisfaction and enjoyment from life. It involves being in the present moment and noticing what’s happening in your body, your mind or your surroundings in a neutral and non-judgmental way. Mindfulness isn’t a new thing. It has origins in the contemplative traditions of Asia, especially Hinduism and Buddhism. The practice has always been with us and is more readily available to us when we practice the techniques on a daily basis.
Practicing mindfulness helps to train your brain to be more aware and alert. It helps to stay in the present moment right where “Life” exists. Mindfulness helps to remodel the physical structure of your brain. Mindfulness can be learned through self-help books, audios and videos and online courses. Over time, mindfulness brings about long-term changes in mood and levels of happiness and well-being. Scientific studies have shown that mindfulness not only prevents depression, but that it also positively affects the brain patterns underlying day-to-day anxiety, stress, depression and irritability so that when they arise, they dissolve away again more easily.
Elevates your awareness of your thoughts, feelings and sensations
Manage unhealthy and negative thoughts
Be gentler and loving towards yourself
Enjoy the calmer and your most natural self
Manage a lot of physical ailments and medical problems
Let’s delve into the top 10 Quick Mindfulness Techniques
1. The Body Scan
The most famous of all Mindfulness techniques is the typical Body Scan that runs slowly through each part of the body. Take a quick 20 minutes break and start paying attention to the way each area of the body feels. Start your body from toes of both feet to the rest of the feet (top, bottom, ankle) then to the Lower legs, Knees Thighs and Pelvic region- buttocks, tailbone, pelvic bone and genitals.
Now from here try moving your awareness to the Abdomen, then to the Chest, Lower back, Upper back- back ribs & shoulder blades, Hands (fingers, palms, backs, wrists), Arms (lower, elbows, upper), Neck, Face and head (jaw, mouth, nose, cheeks, ears, eyes, forehead, scalp, back & top of head), and finally ending with a quick whole body scan.
How do you feel? The common answer that most people give is “I feel I am alive”
2. Mindful Five Senses Exercise
This exercise is called “divine five senses”, and provides easy guidelines on practicing mindfulness quickly in nearly any stressful situation. The key is to “notice” what you are experiencing with each of the five senses.
Notice any five things that you can see.
Look around you and bring your attention to any five things that you can see. Pick something that you don’t normally notice, like a little corner you never noticed before or that book that you never noticed on your table that has not been read since you bought it.
Notice any four things that you can feel.
Bring awareness to four things that you are currently feeling, like the carpet where you are resting your feet, the feeling of the breeze on your skin, or the smooth clean surface of a table you are resting your hands on.
Now bring your awareness to the three things you can hear.
Take a quick moment to simply listen, and note three things that you hear in the background. This can even be silence, can you hear silence? Ok on a less philosophical note it can be the chirp of a bird, the hum of the refrigerator, or the faint sounds of people walking on the street.
Now try to notice two things you can smell.
Bring your awareness to smells that you usually filter out, whether they’re pleasant or unpleasant. Perhaps the breeze is carrying a whiff of pine trees if you’re outside, or the smell of a fast food restaurant across the street.
Now the best part is to notice one thing you can taste.
If you are munching on your favorite snack while reading this, try to focus on its taste. Many times we get soaked in our tasty food without even “really” tasting it. Usually it is that 1st bite but after that you are simply enjoying the meal without noticing how it is “tasting” You can even just open your mouth to search the air for a taste. Try it, you will discover something new.
This is the easier and most effective Mindfulness technique. It can be done standing up or sitting down, and at any time of the day. The quick tip follows below:
Start by slowly breathing in and out slowly for 3-5 minutes. One breath cycle should last for approximately 6 seconds.
Remember to Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, letting your breath flow effortlessly in and out of your body.
Many thoughts may arise. Let go of them. Try not to judge them simply let thoughts rise and fall of their own accord and be at one with your breath.
Continue to breathe and complete the cycle for the allocated 3-5 minutes.
The end result is a calmer mind. You will find yourself clear and focused to do what you intended to do.
4. Look and Smile in the Mirror
Yes, it does seem ridiculous but not so stupid if it makes you feel empowered, funny and may be invincible. When you first practice it (especially if someone walks in on you) it might feel embarrassing but remember that the only person who cares if you. So pause your mental scoot, take a 5 minutes break and look into the mirror mindfully. You might that beauty that admired looking at the models in magazines or Hollywood stars walking the red carpet.
So look in the mirror and smile. Observe your face, your nose, your lips, your eyes. Gently smile and admire how gorgeous you look. Smiling slows the heart and relaxes the body. It also releases the magic endorphins that diminish stress hormones.
5. Write in your Morning Journal
Morning Journals are a quick few words plan, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no right or wrong way to do this – Keeping a Morning Journal isn’t a high art. They are not even real “writing.” They are just about anything and everything that crosses your mind. The practice of creating a Morning Journal provokes, clarifies, comforts and prioritizes the long day that feels short and most importantly fun to begin.
6. Take a Mindful Laughter Break
Life in general is stressful and serious. It is worth taking things less seriously by laughing more and worrying less even if there is no reason to show those beautiful white pearls. Mindfulness doesn’t always require focused attention and a disciplined mind. The best kind of present moment awareness is the kind that occurs spontaneously—with a belly laugh attached.
Taking a quick 10 minutes laughter break during your day. Take yourself to an imaginary peaceful place may be a beach or in the sun. Imagine being with your best pal and sharing a funny joke with a belly laugh. Another quick way is to crack a joke with your colleagues and give them and yourself a quick break from the stressful everyday chores. Work never ends but life does. So Laugh more and Worry Less!
7. Take a Mindful Digital Break
The Digital World is ruling our lives. It gives a lot to be thankful for but at times takes away the private space and devours our valuable peace. The excessive reliance on technology also creates a false sense of urgency, as though we are missing something important if we are not constantly plugged in. Take a mindful break by switching off from your Laptop, Mobile and other gadgets and step away from these digital devices for 20-25 minutes to feel more focused and centered when you do resume work and plug back in.
8. Quick plant watering
The presence of houseplants has been found to be lower blood pressure, increase focus and brings in a feeling of calmness. This has been scientific proven in several studies. The power of Plants help to keep us firm and grounded when our minds are soaring high in an irrational fashion.
Take a 10 minutes break to water your plants and observe how they smile when you sprinkle water on them. The energy of the plants and its greenness will fill your Mind Body and Soul with calming sensations.
9. Recite Positive Affirmations
Affirmations are small and powerful positive messages that we feed our brains by repeat them several times to ourselves in a way that says that the outcome has already occurred. Establishing this type of positive affirmation habit and beginning our day by doing this first thing in the morning can impact the outcome of our entire day.
The repeated affirmations reinforce chemical pathways in the brain, making the connection between two neurons stronger, and therefore more likely to conduct the same message again. This makes the affirmations a reality, of course it takes patience and a hopeful heart.
10. Take a Music Break
Music therapy is an extremely powerful mindfulness technique that is know to reduce stress, raise your IQ, and offer many other health benefits. It elevates the mood and releases happy hormones. Taking a quick 20 minutes break and listening to our favorite music can help us resume our work in a more focused, positive, and productive frame of mind.
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