3 Simple Ways to Practice Mindfulness
There isn't one perfect method to practice mindfulness that works for everyone. But you won't know what works for you until you try!
For example, someone might prefer doodling to reduce stress and focus on the moment, whereas I would go outside to get some fresh air and recollect my thoughts. We all have different methods when we want to ground ourselves and focus on the current point in time.
So, here are three simple techniques to help you practice mindfulness!
This one has to be my favourite. All you do is grab a blank piece of paper and draw 2 lines, one going down the middle and one going across horizontally, like so:
Next, you start spiralling! You begin drawing a spiral from the centre point where the two lines meet. But, this is important, you have to draw this spiral as tight and precise as possible. You can go as slow as you like, but after a few minutes you should stop and it might look like this:
Now, you are probably thinking, "why did we draw the lines if we were just going to draw a spiral?" Well, this is when you start reflecting! In the first quadrant you write down some things you have seen today. It can be as simple as a cloud or a dog going for a walk!
Then, you move to the next quadrant and write what you have heard today. Like a police siren or a coffee machine whirring. After that you move on and write down what you have felt today. It can be physical things or emotions: anger, sadness, optimism or happiness.
Lastly, the final box is for what made you happy so far today. Like taking a breath of fresh air outside!
Once you have finished writing take a look at everything you have written down... congrats, you have just reflected!
It might look a bit like this!
2. Breath Work
Apps are a great way of practising your breath work. My personal go-to is Oak. This app helps you with breath work from staying awake to falling asleep! They have a variety of exercises ranging from guided sleep meditation to a quick 1 minute breathing exercise to help you stay focussed while working.
If you want to relax in a matter of minutes, try the box breathing method:
Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds,
Hold for 4 seconds
Breathe out from your mouth for 4 seconds
Hold for 4 seconds
Repeat 3-4 times and you will probably feel your body relax and you might feel a lot more focussed.
3. Mindful Eating
Do you find yourself spending 10 minutes trying to find a movie you will only watch for 20 minutes while you eat?
Don't worry, I used to be like this. I hated how my body needed something to watch while I ate my meal. But after trying mindful eating, I feel more grateful for the food and I'm more aware of how it tastes!
All you need to do is just be in the moment with your meal! Simply thinking of the different tastes and how lucky you are to be eating today is a great way to practice mindfulness.
I usually have breakfast and lunch outside in the garden, or if it's too cold, indoors, but away from a TV. By having this time to sit with your thoughts you can be more mindful of how you are feeling in that current moment.
If you could only try one method, I would suggest this one. With this tip you can be more appreciative of the taste of the food and be grateful for the journey that the food had to end up on your plate.
When I drink my coffee in the morning, I don't stress thinking about all the tasks I need to do today, I think about the effort given by the farmers to grow the coffee beans and the lorry driver bringing it into the country. Having this sense of gratefulness will make you more aware of the current moment and, for some reason, the coffee tastes better!
I hope that you at least try these techniques and see if they work or not. Just attempting one method to practice mindfulness and then quitting when you don't feel relaxed is not the mindset you should have going into this.
Do you have any methods that work for you? DM me on my socials as I would love to hear from you!