In today's fast-paced world, it can be challenging to find a moment of peace and relaxation. With endless to-do lists and constant distractions, it can feel like we are always on the go.
That's why it's more important than ever to practice mindful activities that help us focus on the present moment and reduce stress. What are Mindful Activities? Mindful activities are exercises that help you focus on the present moment and bring awareness to your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations.
They can be as simple as taking a walk in nature, practicing yoga, or meditating. By paying attention to the present moment, you can develop a greater sense of inner peace and calmness with any type of mindful practices.
Carol woke up feeling anxious and self-conscious. She had always been overweight, and she was constantly worried about what people thought of her. As she got ready for the day, she kept checking herself in the mirror, trying to hide her perceived flaws as much as possible. When she arrived at school, she walked with her head down, trying to avoid eye contact with others. Throughout the day, she kept replaying negative thoughts in her mind, imagining that people were talking about her behind her back. By the end of the day, she was exhausted and felt drained from all the negative self-talk and worry.
Carol decided that something needed to change and wanted to figure out how. It was the moment she discovered mindfulness, everything changed.
Benefits of Practicing Mindful Activities
- Reduces Stress and Anxiety: One of the biggest benefits of mindful activities is that they can help reduce stress and anxiety. By focusing on the present moment, you can train your brain to tune out distractions and reduce stress levels.
- Improves Mental Clarity: Mindful activities can also help improve mental clarity by reducing the amount of clutter in your mind. When you focus on the present moment, you can better process your thoughts and emotions, leading to a clearer mind.
- Boosts Self-Awareness: Practicing mindful activities can help increase your self-awareness by helping you understand your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. This increased understanding can lead to a greater sense of self-awareness and inner peace.
- Enhances Physical Well-Being: Mindful activities can also help enhance physical well-being. For example, practicing yoga or meditation can help improve posture, flexibility, and breathing. These physical benefits can help you feel more relaxed and energized.
Different Mindful Activities to Try
- Mindful Breathing: Mindful breathing is a simple technique that can be done anywhere, at any time. All you need to do is focus on your breath and pay attention to the sensations in your body. This can help reduce stress and bring a sense of calm to your mind.
- Kundalini Yoga: Kundalini Yoga is an ancient form of technology with the power to evoke deep awareness and immense transformation. It is popularly known as "yoga of awareness". As the energy of Kundalini awakens, it is said to enhance your awareness and help you move past your ego being present in the moment.
- Get Lost in a Hobby or Project: When you become so engrossed into a task, or activity, your mind is being present in the moment, focusing intently on that task at hand. Set time aside to get lost in a hobby or project you have been wanting to do and do not look at your phone. Allow yourself to get lost in time, and being present on what you are doing, your breath and smiling. Remember, if you trying something new for the first time, its okay to not be good at it at that exact moment. Each teacher and master are also students; the roles are always reversing
- Meditation: Mindfulness meditation can be likened to a mental training session, opening the gateway for improved cognitive function and heightened emotion-regulation. Through this practice we gain insight into our thought processes, become less prone to ruminating on negative thoughts, increase your attention span and enhance gains in working memory.
- Nature Walks: Nature Walking in an outdoor environment is a great way to connect with the present moment. By focusing on the sights, sounds, and sensations of the natural world, you can reduce stress and improve mental clarity.
- Journaling: Journaling is another effective mindful activity that can help reduce stress and increase self-awareness. By taking time each day to reflect on your thoughts, emotions or even just writing about your experience through out the day, or a dream, you can gain a better understanding of yourself and your experiences. Journaling acts a nonjudgmental outlet for you to escape to.
Mindful Breathing: Whistle Breath
How to Perform
- Set aside 5-10 minutes and have a timer. If you are using your phone, be sure to turn it on Do Not Disturb.
- Sit with a straight spine either cross legged on the floor or in a chair. If you are sitting on the floor, check in on your knees making sure they are lower than the hips and find what is comfortable for you. If the knees are not relaxed down, higher than your hips, you can add cushions or pillows under your knees.
- Lightly close your eyes and gently roll your eyes up and in to the center of your forehead, your third eye point.
- Set your time for 3-5 Minutes.
- Begin to deeply and slowly inhale through your nose and hold your breath at the top for a moment of two, then on your exhale, purse the lips and make a whistle sound during your full exhale allowing your chest to come down and empty completely.
- Repeat until your time goes off.
- Once your timer goes off, set a new timer for the same amount of time.
- Reverse your breathing by whistling in through your pursed lips and exhaling through your nose. Do this at your own pace of trust.
- Repeat step 8 until time goes off.
- Be mindful of all the sensations in your body and mind knowing that if your thoughts begin to wander that is okay and focus back in on your breath to bring your back to the hear and now.
Love your Body Mindful Techniques
- Mirror Meditation: There is nothing better than loving your body and feeling self confidence. Why not get in front a mirror, sit down, and begin to stare at your eyes. If you notice yourself having a harsh gaze, be sure to soften it, and look at yourself as if you would any lover, or some one you care for deeply. If you would like, you can light a candle and keep the lights down low and really begin to meditate on your eyes and breath. Being present in the moment, begin to tell yourself things you love about yourself. The way your hair is clean, how you got up in the morning, your eyes, your smile, your teeth, the way your skin feels, etc. You can shift this to positive affirmations to boost your self esteem while being mindful by stating, "I am confident" "I am strong", "I am brilliant", "I am love and love loves me". Have your journal near by and end with meditating on your eyes. Write down anything significant or record the session.
- Mindfulness with Affirmations: Grab the book You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, blank notecards and a pen; begin to go through the entire body metaphor chart A-Z. Find any symptoms you are experiencing or feeling in the present moment and write the correlating affirmation on your note card. You can write multiple affirmations on one card, or one affirmation on a single card. Your choice! When you are done going through the chart, read each affirmation out loud to yourself. Then, bring your cards with you to the bathroom or where there is a mirror and say these affirmations to yourself in the mirror. Being mindful, recognize how each word and affirmation makes you feel in the moments. Does the affirmation resonate with you? If any affirmations do not resonate it with you, you can change up the words, or toss it all together. Then, take some tape and tape your note cards to your mirror and state them as many times you can throughout the day for 30 days.
Self Love is a Sign of Mindfulness
After finding mindfulness, Carol decided that she needed to change her mind set and discovered new ways how to boost her confidence about herself.
Upon waking up, she took a few deep breaths and focused on the present moment. She reminded herself that negative thoughts are just thoughts, and they don't define her.
Throughout the day, she kept checking in with her body and her emotions, noticing when negative thoughts started to creep in. Carol would jot down anything that seemed to linger too long in her journal and continue on throughout her day. This would help Carol to not get caught up in the emotions and instead, let them go. She would them change her thoughts to "I am" statements.
By the end of the day, she felt more relaxed and confident, knowing that she had the power to control her thoughts and feelings. She took it to the next level and used the mirror meditation as a body love experience and gazed into her eyes feeling her entire soul connect as one with who she is. For once, she felt like she belonged in the world.
What is the best time of day to practice mindful activities?
The best time to practice mindful activities is whenever works best for you. Some people find it helpful to do mindfulness exercises in the morning, while others prefer to do them in the evening.
How often should I practice mindful activities?
It's recommended to practice mindful activities regularly, such as every day or a few times a week. Consistency is key when it comes to developing a mindfulness practice, so try to make time for it in your daily routine.
Are there any side effects of practicing mindful activities?
There are no negative side effects of practicing mindful activities. In fact, these activities can only have positive benefits, such as reducing stress and anxiety, improving mental clarity, and enhancing physical well-being.
Can anyone practice mindful activities?
Yes, anyone can practice mindful activities, regardless of age or experience. These activities are accessible to everyone, and there are many different techniques to choose from, making it easy to find one that works for you.
Are there mindful activities for kids?
Yes. Mindfulness for kids is life changing for both the parents and the child you are raising or watching. You can take the general concept of mindfulness and teach your kid how to be present in the moment while engagming all their senses.
Practicing mindful activities can help bring a sense of calm and relaxation to our busy lives. Whether it's meditation, yoga, mindful breathing, walking in nature, or journaling, there are many techniques to choose from. By focusing on the present moment and paying attention to our thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, we can reduce stress and improve our overall well-being. So, why not make time for mindful activities today and start living a more relaxed and stress-free life?