A mindfulness exercise is a practice that involves bringing your attention to the present moment and being fully aware of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surroundings without judgment. Practicing mindfulness can lead to reduced stress, increased well-being, and improved mental clarity. We’ve compiled a list of mindfulness activities that you can do anywhere and at any time without straining or overthinking it.
Mindful breathing exercise
Mindful breathing exercise is a simple yet powerful technique that involves bringing your attention to your breath, noticing the sensation of air moving in and out of your body, and staying present at the moment.
Sit in a comfortable position and take a few deep breaths.
Focus your attention on your breath, noticing the sensation of air moving in and out of your nostrils, or the rise and fall of your chest or abdomen.
Inhale deeply for a count of four, hold for a count of two, and exhale slowly for a count of six.
If your mind begins to wander, simply acknowledge the thought or distraction, and gently bring your attention back to your breath.
Continue the exercise for a few minutes or as long as you like.
When you're ready to end the exercise, take a few more deep breaths and slowly open your eyes.
Body scan meditation
Body scan meditation is a mindfulness technique where you systematically scan your body, bringing awareness to each area, noticing physical sensations and tension, and relaxing the body.
Find a quiet and comfortable place to lie down or sit.
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, allowing any tension or stress to release.
Scan your body from your head to your toes, noticing any sensations without judgment.
If you notice any tension or discomfort, visualize sending relaxation and ease to that area.
Take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to fully relax.
When you're ready, slowly open your eyes.
Loving-kindness meditation involves cultivating feelings of love, compassion, and goodwill towards oneself and others. The goal of loving-kindness meditation is to open the heart and develop a sense of connection and empathy with all living beings.
Find a comfortable, quiet place to sit or lie down.
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to relax your body and mind.
Repeat these phrases silently to yourself, focusing on each phrase for a few minutes before moving on to the next: "May I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be safe, may I be at peace."
Repeat the same phrases, substituting "I" for "you" and thinking of someone you love.
Continue to repeat the phrases, extending your love and kindness to others in your life and eventually to all beings everywhere.
When you're ready to finish your practice, take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to feel grounded and centered.
Mantra meditation involves the repetition of a word, phrase, or sound, known as a mantra. The mantra is typically repeated silently to oneself, either out loud or internally, with the goal of quieting the mind and focusing attention.
Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit with your spine straight.
Choose a mantra, such as "love" or "peace."
Close your eyes and begin to repeat the mantra silently to yourself.
Focus on the sound and sensation of the mantra.
If your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to the mantra.
Continue to repeat the mantra for several minutes.
When you're finished, slowly release the mantra and take a few deep breaths.
Breath visualization exercise
The breath visualization exercise is a mindfulness technique that involves focusing on the visual image of the breath as it moves in and out of the body. During the practice, you might imagine your breath as a wave or a stream of light moving in and out of your nostrils, chest, or abdomen.
Find a comfortable, quiet place to sit or lie down with your spine straight.
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to relax.
Visualize your breath moving in and out of your body as a wave or stream of light.
Focus on the visual image of your breath, noticing its rhythm and movement.
If your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to the visualization.
Allow yourself to sink deeper into a state of relaxation.
When you're finished, slowly release the visualization and take a few deep breaths.
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