5 Everyday Mindfulness Exercises

Want to add a little more zen to your day? WEA's yoga and mindfulness tutor Nerissa Fields is ready and waiting with a handful of quick routines and easy tips for incorporating mindfulness into your life.

Mindfulness is about living in the present moment and appreciating each part of each day. It also helps to reduce anxiety and promotes kindness and compassion for yourself as well as everyone else. Embrace the calming practice by following these simple and effective meditation techniques.


 

5 minutes breathing meditation


Every morning, sit tall and comfortably for 5 minutes while focusing on your breath:

  • Be aware of the breath as it comes into your body and as it leaves: inhale and exhale.
  • As thoughts come into your mind; see them and watch them go, come back to your body and to your breath.

Over time see if you can increase the length of the breathing meditation.

Stretch the whole body and work with the breath


Stand tall:

  • Breath in slowly through the nose and raise both arms up and over your head. Stand on your toes if that's comfortable.
  • Hold and breathe.
  • Slowly exhale as you bring your arms down. Let the heels come down and your spine rise; the shoulders should drop, the chest will be open, the chin's loose.

Repeat this routine 2 or 3 times to really get the most out of the exercise. Practice in the morning, throughout the day or whenever you need it.

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Choose 1 activity to do mindfully


This can be anything from brushing your teeth to doing the washing-up or cooking a meal. Focus totally on the activity without thinking about anything else. Work with this activity mindfully every day and then, when ready, choose another activity to work with, increasing your activities with time.


Practice mindfulness before bed


Either seated or lying, be aware of each part of the body in turn. From your feet, ankles and calves to your knees and right up to the crown of your head. Be aware of the whole of your body. Let your breath be slow, steady and even. 


Follow these 3 steps

  • Step 1:  Concentrate on your body, becoming acutely aware of your feet, the crown of your head, the length of your spine, the muscles of your forehead, the whole of your body. Breathe.
  • Step 2:  Be aware of where you are; whether that's waiting for the green man at the traffic lights, in the queue in the supermarket or waiting for the kettle to boil. Take the time to notice how you feel; happy, sad, distracted. Be present, be here now.
  • Step 3:  Move on to the next part of the day.

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Want more where that came from? Check out our wellness and yoga courses here.