Mindfulness practices you could try. I’ve gone into as much detail as I think is necessary and you could do what feels right and see where the practice takes you to make it your own.
This exercise of 3-Minute Breathing Space can be the perfect technique for those with busy lives and minds. The exercise is broken into three sections, one per minute, and works as follows:
• The first minute is spent on answering the question “how am I doing right now?” while focusing on the feelings, thoughts, and sensations that arise, and trying to give these words and phrases.
• The second minute is spent on keeping awareness of the breath.
• The last minute is used for an expansion of attention outward from the breath, feeling the ways in which your breathing affects the rest of the body.
☽ Body Scan
The Body Scan begins with lying on your back with palms facing up and feet falling slightly apart. This exercise can also be done sitting on a comfortable chair with feet resting on the floor. A typical Body Scan runs through each part of the body, paying special attention to the way each area feels. The scan usually moves systematically through the body, e.g. starting at the feet and moving upwards as follows:
Toes of both feet • The rest of the feet • Lower legs • Knees • Thighs • Pelvis • Abdomen • Chest • Lower back • Upper back • Hands • Arms • Neck • Face and head • Crown
What does each body part feel like? Do you need to pay more attention to an area of tension? Are you feeling a flow between some areas and not others, what connections are there?
☽ Mindful Eating
This is a great introductory exercise for beginners to start practicing mindfulness since it can be attempted by anyone with any kind of food (although one with an interesting or unusual texture, smell, or taste is best).
In this exercise, you can take a few raisins and pretend you have never seen a raisin before! Then pay careful attention to the following:
•The way the raisin looks • How it feels • How the skin responds to its manipulation • Its smell • Its taste
Focusing on the single object of the raisin is meant to bring the mind to the present, to what is right in front of you. We may be used to raisins, and not used to taking time to actually notice them. Maybe give this practice a go with a few different foods.
☽ Mindful Listening
So much of what we “feel” is influenced by past experience. For example songs, sounds, smells etc can bring back specific and vivid memories, and we can almost re-live an experience through our senses.
The idea of this exercise is to listen to some music from a neutral standpoint, with a present awareness that is unhindered by preconception.
Select a piece of music you have never heard before. You may have something in your own collection that you have never listened to, or you might choose to turn the radio dial until something catches your ear.
Close your eyes and put on your headphones.
Try not to get drawn into judging the music by its genre, title or artist name before it has begun. Instead, ignore any labels and neutrally allow yourself to get lost in the journey of sound for the duration of the song.
☽ Mindful Walking
This is another awareness exercise, noticing your body’s movement and your surroundings in detail. It’s an excellent grounding exercise to do whether you have daily access to woodland/countryside or not, it’s still hugely beneficial wherever you are.
As you walk, pay attention to the sensations of the body. How do your feet feel? How do the other muscles of your body compensate for changes in balance? Note how your arms swing as you walk.
Become more aware of your surroundings, not just practically (ie: I must avoid the puddle or post the letter on the way), but with an open mind, enjoying the immediacy of the sights, sounds, and smells. Open up your senses.
Mindful walking benefits from its simplicity and is most successful when you are in the moment.
No tools or equipment are required, only somewhere to walk. And it can easily fit into your daily routine.