During stressful times, our minds tend to take flight and we lose touch with our body. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed with an obsessive and negative spiral of thoughts about the past, present, and future. Practicing mindfulness is one way to calm your mind during these stressful moments.
Mindfulness occurs when your mind is fully attending to the present moment; what’s happening, what you’re doing, the space you’re moving through. Mindfulness can be helpful in terms of providing time to quiet your thoughts and approaching your present experience with openness, warmth, and kindness.
Mindfulness exercises are simple and user-friendly. You can even do them in the comfort of your own home!
Here are 5 mindfulness exercises to calm you mind:
This exercise can be done standing up or sitting down, and pretty much anywhere, at any time. All you have to do is be still and focus on your breath for just one minute.
This exercise deals with mindful listening. This can be done by listening to the five minute bell exercise video. You begin by closing your eyes and listening for the cue. When you hear it, focus your attention on the sound until it fades completely. This exercise helps you to keep yourself firmly grounded in the present.
You can use the audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGFog-OuFDM
This exercise can be practiced quickly in nearly any situation! All you have to do is bring your attention to each of your five senses.
This quick and easy exercise is great for grounding yourself and can bring you to a mindful state. If you are short on time and/or tools, the five senses exercise can help you or your clients bring awareness to the current moment in a short amount of time.
This exercise is a bit longer than the ones above and requires more preparation. It aims to connect your body and your mind. It can help you:
Here is a written script of the exercise: http://www.stillmind.com.au/Documents/Body%20Scan%20Meditation%20orig.pdf
You can also use the YouTube video of a guided body scan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7xGF8F28zo
This exercise also plays on your 5 senses. All you have to do is find a basket – you can even use a box, just something that things can be stored in. In this basket, find objects that bring you comfort and connect them to your 5 senses. Some examples are:
Once you have all your items in your basket, keep it somewhere accessible to you. When you are feeling anxious, overwhelmed and/or in need of comforting; turn to the items in your basket to soothe yourself.
Shamira Drice, Registered Psychotherapist (RP), Ezcape Spa & Wellness, November 2018