5 Mindfulness Activities to Incorporate into Your Daily Routine
Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment, accepting and observing thoughts and feelings without judgment. It has been shown to improve mental well-being, stress levels, sleep quality and even attention span. Mindfulness has also been shown to have a lot of benefits, including reducing stress, improving focus and memory, and increasing self-awareness.
Below is a list of five mindfulness activities that you can incorporate into your daily routine to promote greater focus, relaxation and self-compassion.
- Mindful breathing
This is probably the most basic mindfulness activity, and it’s one of the most effective. Simply focus on your breath, and count each inhale and exhale.
Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and hold it for a few seconds. Release the breath slowly through your mouth. Repeat this process until you feel calm and relaxed.
- Compassionate Mindfulness- Focusing on Kindness
For this mindfulness meditation, your focus will be on bringing awareness to your judgments and criticisms of yourself and others and intentionally work on letting them go. Ask yourself what it would take for you to be kinder today. Consider what judgments you might be holding about yourself and expectations about your performance.
Tell yourself, “I am enough and am doing enough for this moment. Today I love and accept myself no matter what.” Consider what judgments you might have of others. Intentionally take a moment to develop a new perspective or place yourself in their shoes- envision what it might feel like to hear these judgments. Allow yourself to resolve to be kinder no matter how uncomfortable it might be to let go of your anger or criticisms.
- Guided Visualization: Chalkboard Erasure
Close your eyes or look diagonally down at the floor. Take 2-3 deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Slowly start to envision yourself standing in front of a large chalkboard or whiteboard. In your mind, envision yourself as you walk up to the board and place a piece of chalk or dry erase marker in your hand.
Take a moment to write down the first word that comes to your mind. If it is something negative, allow yourself to erase this word. Continue this process until you have found a word that resonates with you and that you want to hold onto as you journey through the rest of your day.
- Body Scan
Close your eyes or look diagonally down at the floor and take 2-3 deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Envision yourself slowly becoming calmer with each breath. Now, tell yourself that the purpose of this exercise is to scan each part of your body starting from your head and working your way down to your feet.
Starting with the top of your head, scan your body slowly and mindfully, as if you are taking inventory of each body part as you slowly move down your face, neck, shoulders, torso, and so on. You are noticing any sensations you feel and paying attention to any areas of tightness or discomfort. Allow yourself to soften and release any tension by breathing into those areas deeply. Continue scanning down your body until you reach the tips of your toes. Do this for five minutes.
- Wellness Scan
Take a moment out of your day to sit down and close your eyes or journal with a pen and pad. Take a few minutes to think about different aspects of your life that you engage in on a regular basis and that tie in to your core values- work, home life, physical activity, leisure time, relationships and family.
Ask yourself what areas of your life have you been focusing on more recently. What aspects seem fulfilled or well nourished. Which aspects of your wellness seem out of balance or in need of more attention. Think of one or two ways that you can act towards your goal of improving your wellness.
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