Are you revising, feeling stressed out and under pressure with exams coming up? Taking a mindful moment can do you some wonders – it’ll help you concentrate and focus better, it’ll help your immune system and helps to switch your nervous system out of flight/fight mode and it’ll give you an all round sense of calmness.
It is essential for our well-being to take a few minutes each day to find some mental space and to nurture a positive mind-body balance.
Try using these simple, practical mindfulness exercises to empty your mind and reducing stress and anxiety.
1. ONE MINUTE BREATHING
This exercise can be done anywhere at any time, standing up or sitting down. All you have to do is focus on your breath for just one minute. Start by breathing in and out slowly, holding your breath for a count of six once you’ve inhaled. Then breathe out slowly, letting the breath flow effortlessly out back into the atmosphere.Naturally your mind will try and wander amidst the valleys of its thoughts, but simply notice these thoughts, let them be for what they are and return to focusing on your breath. Literally watch your breath with your senses as it enters your body and fills you with life, and then watch it work its way up and out of your body as the energy dissipates into the universe.
2. A GAME OF FIVES
In this mindfulness exercise, all you have to do is notice five things in your day that usually go unnoticed and unappreciated. These could be things you hear, smell, feel or see. For example, might see the walls of your front room, hear the birds in the tree outside in the morning, feel your clothes on your skin as you walk to work, or smell the flowers in the park, but are you truly aware of these things and the connections they have with the world? Are you aware of how these things really benefit your life and the lives of others? Do you really know what these look and sound like? Have you ever noticed their finer, more intricate details? Have you thought about what life might be without these things? Have you thought about how amazing these things are? Let your creative mind explore the wonder, impact and possibilities these usually unnoticed things have on your life. Allow yourself to fall awake into the world and fully experience the environment.
3. A GRATITUDE NOTE A DAY
In this mindfulness exercise, all you have to simply do is write down what you appreciate and grateful for for each day. It can be simple things like enjoying your cuppa tea or hot chocolate in the morning, to having a lovely day or evening with family/friends. It’s easy to get caught up in the stresses of the world, especially when you have lots of subjects to revise for. Sometimes we need to refocus on one simple enjoyment each day we’ve encountered. Try it… it’s an amazing feeling!
4. COLOUR AT YOUR HEARTS CONTENT.
Finally, don’t forget to try out mindful colouring in! It does wonders! Even if you colour in for ten minutes in between revising for different subjects; it’ll help unblock the mind and it’ll give your brain some down time. You can get lots of beautiful mindful colouring in books now – pop down to the book shop as soon as possible and choose your own.
By becoming mindful of who we are, where we are, what we are doing and the purpose, if any at all, and how everything else in our environment interacts with our being, we cultivate a truer awareness of being. This helps us learn to identify and reduce stress and anxiety and difficult, painful and perhaps frightening thoughts, feelings and sensations.
Mindfulness exercises help centre the mind and restore balance to our lives, tempering that “monkey mind” that persistently leaps from branch to branch. Rather than being led by thoughts and feelings, often influenced by past experiences and fears of future occurrences, we are able to live with full attention and purpose in the moment.