Mindfulness is an amazing tool for stress management and overall wellness. The practice of mindfulness can pull you out of the negative downward spiral that causes daily stress and blue moods.
Mindfulness is simply the practice of being present. The following mindfulness exercises are simple and convenient, and can lead to less stress and sadness in your daily life.
Simply find a comfortable place free of distractions, and quiet your mind. Start with basic meditation for beginners (you can find videos on YouTube) and grow from there. 10-20 minutes is all you need.
Listening to Music
Listening to music has many benefits—so many, in fact, that music is being used therapeutically in a new branch of complementary medicine. Take time to sit quietly and listen to music that brightens your mood.
Observing Your Thoughts
Many stressed and busy people find it difficult to stop focusing on the rapid stream of thoughts running through their mind. If this sounds like you, the mindfulness exercise of observing your thoughts is a practice you need to make time for. Rather than working against the voice in your head, you sit back and “observe” your thoughts.
Focus on your breathing as you go about your daily activities. Take deep breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Focusing on your breath, especially when you’re upset, can have a calming effect and help you stay grounded in the present moment.
As you observe your thoughts you may benefit from journaling as a way of processing all those thoughts so you can decrease their intensity. Keep a journal with you throughout the day and jot down thoughts each time your mind gets cluttered. You’ll be surprised at how this dissipates your stress.
Create Your Own
Virtually any activity that calms your mind can be a mindfulness exercise. Walking, listening to music, sitting in a park, and many other activities can be “mindfulness activities” if you perform them with a sense of mindfulness.