10 Mindfulness Exercises That Bring Us A Peaceful Mind

| March 7, 2018 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post

10 Mindfulness Exercises That Bring Us A Peaceful Mind

By Andy Asher

I always thought there was no big deal in turning 60. I was wrong. While younger, I thought the whole world could be mine and I consigned myself completely to my job and my family. The thing is, my life started happening so fast I felt I had to run to catch up. Over the time, I got tired and distressed. Burdened with lots of responsibilities and obligations, I didn’t have time to stop and think about myself. As I was approaching my 60s, an urge to slow down became even stronger. I needed to reconnect with my true self and again enjoy my life. The truth is, I didn’t know how. I forgot how to be an uncomplicated and lighthearted person. Then started a deep dive into the subject of mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a process of maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness. It’s about being fully present in the moment, fully aware of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surrounding but without interpretation or judgment.  I immediately recognized it as something I desperately needed. Practicing mindfulness is the best things I have done for myself lately. And not only for myself. My relationships with others became healthier and stronger. A real positive change happened! Maybe you would like to try it yourself and don’t know where to start? I’ll share with you these 10 useful tips for simple effective ways of practicing mindfulness.

  1.    Active and Open Attention

We are usually stressed out by everything we have to do during the day. Always too busy, we do not have time to stop and relax. Or maybe we do? I think we can always grab a few moments for ourselves, but we sacrifice them to our job, television, laundry, shopping. We become captives of our routine, and it is hard for us to change it. If we are not busy doing something, we are busy with our thoughts. Our mind is occupied with past events or anxious about the future. Even if we want to relax, we simply do not know how.  It is time to break free and pay active and open attention to the present.

  1.    Mindful Breathing

When you finally sit down without any external disturbance, you will probably find out that the noise is still within you. Our mind is scattered and crowded with thoughts. Jumping from one thought to another, it cannot calm down. One easy but powerful technique for overcoming restlessness is mindful breathing. Try to breathe slowly, focusing on each breath. Feel it coming in and out of your body and follow it. This simple exercise will help you get rid of the clutter from your mind. And not only that. As an acknowledged form of self-treatment, mindful breathing can be a significant help if you are suffering from anxiety and stress. Try it, and you will feel the results immediately.

  1.    The Benefits of Yoga

Practicing yoga develops mind and body awareness. Dictating actions to our body is something we all find perfectly normal. Still, yoga is showing us another approach. It teaches us how to listen to our body. How to pay attention to what the body is telling us; how to recognize its signals. Yoga will help you achieve harmony between body and mind. That will inevitably improve the quality of your life. It will help you relax, calm down and improve your physical health. The benefits of practicing yoga are many, but what is important to us, yoga promotes mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness through yoga will help you cope better with everyday stress and unpredicted life situations.

  1.    Hear the Sounds!

This world is full of noise. Sometimes we cannot even hear our own thoughts. Even worse, we often do not even notice that we are surrounded by noise. We simply do not hear it. Over the time, we just stop paying attention. We turn on the music and do not listen to it. Our ears do not listen anymore. That is an excellent reason to practice mindful listening. Sit down comfortably, turn on some music you like, close your eyes and just listen. Enjoy the music, let it flow through your body. Immerse in it. Feel the pleasure. When you go for a walk, look for quiet places and listen to the sounds of nature – birds-singing, leaves-rustling, bees-buzzing. Become aware of nature’s beautiful symphony.

  1.    The Power of Smell

Scents and smells have a direct impact on our nervous system. It is well known that certain scents have positive and soothing effects. For example, lavender, lemon, and pine will help you if you are under stress. Peppermint, chamomile, and jasmine, if you are depressed. Cardamom, cinnamon or rosemary, if you lack energy. Use the power of smell and with the help of essential oils bring some fragrances into your life. Also, pay attention to the smells around you – of fresh morning air, of vegetables you’re about to cook, clean clothes you are folding down or flowers in your garden. Smell and think about the feelings they evoke in you. It takes only second or two, but it’s a great practice of mindfulness.

  1.    Mindful Eating

Our body sends us signals and if we are attentive, we will eat because we are hungry and not because we are sad, bored, lonely or distressed. Paying attention to what we eat, when we eat and how we eat is crucial for mindful eating. It’s not something new or revolutionary. We were raised to eat at the proper time, sitting at the table with other members of our family, chewing slowly and carefully. It’s the way we raised our children, but modern life-style brought many bad eating habits. Savor each bite spending a

moment longer appreciating what you are eating.  Remember eating is not only for nourishment but it provides pleasure and peace.  Let’s go back to the old ways and do good to our body. Slow down, eat healthy food, appreciate it, enjoy it and stop when you are full.

  1.    Mindful Meditation

It’s commonly known that the benefits of meditation are many. Meditating is good for your emotional well-being. It lessens stress and anxiety, enhances self-esteem, increases mental strength and focus. Meditation is one of the most efficient mindfulness practices. But yet, many of us are reluctant to start meditating. You are probably thinking, I do not have enough time, or I am not ready to commit to that kind of a lifestyle. The truth is, only 5-10 minutes a day can be enough. You must admit, several minutes a day of quiet mindful meditation is not something you cannot afford. You will soon find those moments so refreshing and soothing that you will wonder why, on earth, you haven’t done that before.

  1.    Good Observer

Be aware of the present moment and the world around you. Make a conscious effort to observe your surroundings. A mindful person is an excellent observer. Stay focused in the present moment. While waiting for a friend who is late, or for a bus, do not let your mind wander. Notice people around you, listen to the sounds or enjoy the scenery. Be a bit of a Sherlock Holmes. People are fascinating to observe. Try to get to know them better or recognize their moods and feelings by merely watching them. Be interested in them. You will see the change in your relationships and communication. Good observation and awareness can help you cope with any situation.

  1.    Mindfulness in Everyday Activities

Mindfulness is a lifestyle. With constant practice, it will eventually become a part of your personality. In everyday activities, you should always strive to be aware of the present moment and live it fully. Participate in life actively and willingly. Observe the world around you, notice little things, get to know yourself better, pay attention to your thoughts and feelings. Do not stress yourself out, be calm and relaxed. At first, you will need a lot of practice, but after a while, it will flow naturally, like swimming. Hard at first, it becomes a skill that you simply have. You don’t need to put any effort to perform it.

  1.    Mindfulness Applications

If you are excited about making some changes in your life, and you are ready to practice mindfulness, but you feel you need some encouragement, there are many applications out there in the market that can help you. They are designed to inspire you, assist you and guide you. Short personalized meditations come in different voices and lengths, and your progress can be recorded.  There is always a certain number of free sessions, so it doesn’t have to cost anything to try.

Final Words

In the end, listen to your intuition and choose mindfulness techniques that suit you best. And of course, be persistent. It’s going to be hard sometimes, but once you get a hold of it, you will be amazed by the benefits. Tune into your senses and go ahead!

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Andy Asher is Managing Editor at Bloomer Boomer.  When he is not banging away on his keyboard you may find him exploring an abandoned railroad bed or hiking with his four legged pal Duke.  He also enjoys the wonderful cuisine created by his partner and fiancé, Mimi.

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Category: Articles, Blog, Brain Health

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