Zap stress and anxiety into oblivion with these simple yet effective mindfulness exercises
Sick of your emotions spiralling out of control? To help you achieve a state of blissful zen, we’ve put together a 10-minute mindful mantra practice. In just 10 simple steps, we will guide you through to mindful greatness, to ensure your day is productive, successful and entirely stress-free.
Follow these simple mindfulness exercises to incorporate more mindful presence into your day.
Mindfulness Exercises to Achieve Inner Zen: Your 10-minute Mantra
1. Stop and reconnect
If you start to feel overwhelmed, choose to stop whatever you’re doing at that moment to reconnect with yourself. Close your eyes and breathe deeply.
2. Take a seat
There’s no way you’ll feel relaxed and ready to focus when you’re running around. Find yourself a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted, and either sit or lie down. You need to feel comfortable and calm, that way you’ll get the most out of the practice.
3. Breathe in
As Echkart Tolle said, a single breath in and out is a meditation. Your breath forms a natural rhythm, but when you pay attention to it, it can transport you out of your mind and into your body. The simple act of breathing can momentarily free yourself from your churning thoughts, worries and fears, and you remind yourself of who you really are.
Find a place to sit uninterrupted and connect with a steady, even, deliberate flow of breath. Breathe in through the nose, drawing breath first into the stomach and then all the way up into the chest, taking 10 seconds, and then exhaling for 10 seconds. 10 steady inhales and exhales quickly takes us out of the sympathetic nervous system and into the parasympathetic nervous system, restoring and connecting us to the present moment.
4. Take control
In whatever way you can, take as much responsibility for the experience you are having. Taking responsibility for your experience gives you the power to do something about it and make a conscious change. When we blame someone or something else, we remain at the whim of others to experience greater wellbeing.
5. Notice the power of your practice
With every out-breath, observe how the body begins to settle. Notice how the mind beings to settle as well.
6. Connect with your senses
Your senses are your gateway into the present moment. But when you’re lost in thought, you can often overlook what your senses are picking up. Take a moment to pause and appreciate your surroundings, and really breathe them in. Taste the flavour of your freshly ground coffee, take a deep breath of salty sea air, marvel at the beauty that surrounds you. Don’t take anything for granted — start to appreciate the small things, and the big things won’t seem quite as daunting to tackle.
7. Listen wholeheartedly
The next conversation you have, really pay attention to what that person is saying to you, without getting lost in your thoughts. Concentrate and really engage. You’ll find the conversation flows much more freely, and you might even learn something new about the person you’re talking to.
8. Do the things you love
Make room in your day to do something that you love. Whether that’s reading a book, practicing yoga or sharing a glass of wine with a friend, dedicate a little time (be it 10 minutes or two hours) to lose yourself in an activity that brings you happiness. Take stock of how that makes you feel and really cherish that moment. Connect with it and remember the way it makes you feel.
9. Be kind to yourself
Don’t judge yourself if your mind starts to wander. There’ll be endless distractions all vying for your attention. If you find yourself disconnecting with the practice, take a break and a long, deep breath in. Start to focus on the breath and really connect with that rhythm until you find yourself ready to connect once more.