In this busy world of ours, the mind is constantly pulled from one thought to another, leaving us feeling stressed and highly-strung. Many of us don’t think we have even a few minutes to sit down and meditate, despite how beneficial it can be to our overall physical and mental health. It’s important to take a few minutes each day to cultivate mental spaciousness and achieve a positive mind-body balance. If you’re busy, then mindfulness exercises may be right for you. Take a look at these mindfulness activities to reduce stress.
What is mindfulness?
This is something you may have heard of for years, but never really understood what it involves. Mindfulness is a state of intentional, nonjudgment focus on the present moment. Mindfulness techniques are often incorporated into other practices, such as yoga or meditation. Mindfulness links awareness of your surroundings, focus on your body, acceptance of your feelings, and observations of emotions.
Mindfulness exercises to try
This exercise can be done standing up or sitting down – whichever works for you. All you have to do is be still and focus on your breath for a few minutes. Start by breathing in and out slowly, breaking in through your nose and out through your mouth. Let the breath flow effortlessly. Let go of your thoughts. Simply let thoughts rise and fall, returning your focus to the breath each time you get distracted. Focus your sense of awareness on the movement of breath throughout your body and how your chest rises and falls.
Repeat a simple mantra
As you focus on your thoughts, your brain likes to flood you with other things that may seem important. This may all be in your mind. The more you repeat a mantra, the easier it will be to focus your thoughts and still the mind. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Take a moment to release any tension in your body. Repeat a mantra in your mind that you would like to affirm. Keep it short and positive. Your mind will attempt to distract you with thoughts, but continue to repeat the mantra for 5 to 10 minutes.
The body scan
This is a simple mindfulness-based stress reduction exercise that brings your attention to an area of your body to help bring your awareness to the present. Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, then bring your attention to your feet. Pay attention to any sensations in your feet, whether it’s the carpet beneath your toes or the fabric of your sock on your foot. Take in every sensation. Slowly, move your way up your body, putting a gentle focus on each area. Notice how each part of your body feels at the moment.
Sit quietly in a space. Look around you and name three things you can hear. Then name two things you can see. Finally, name one sensation you feel. It’s a simple exercise that helps you connect with your surroundings and feelings, grounding yourself. By increasing your awareness of your body and environment, you help to connect to the present to take your worry off the future.
We hope that these tips help to stress less and enjoy the practice of mindfulness. Do you need help to find the right insurance policies for your needs? Visit Abbate Insurance for your insurance policies in New Haven and neighboring cities in Connecticut!