Mindfulness can have a beautiful impact on our mental health and our experience of life. Here we offer some tips on how to be mindful. All of the exercises on this page are simple and can be done by anyone.
How To Be Mindful
Feel Your Footsteps
Feeling the earth beneath our feet is a powerful way to ground ourselves into reality. This technique is simple and easy to follow, it consists of simply feeling each footstep as we take it, being aware of how our feet feel, how the ground feels beneath us. This can bring us out of our heads and trigger awareness.
Tasting our food as we eat can be a very mindful experience. Taste what you eat, focus on the textures and flavours of the food as you eat them. Not only will you be practising mindfulness but you will also enjoy your food more.
Taking 10 deep and mindful breaths before getting out of bed sets our minds to awareness and purpose, so we can start the day well.
Heartmath Heart Exercise
Breathe from the area around your heart, imagining that you breathing in and out of that area for 1 minute, then focus on something you’re really grateful for. You will feel happy and appreciative and may also feel a warmth from your chest.
While walking simply look up in front of you and try to maintain that for as long as possible. If you naturally look at the floor when you walk, this will force you into awareness.
Use Your Senses
Our senses are a great way to anchor us into reality. By focusing on the experience of what we can see, smell, hear, feel and taste we become more alert, aware and grounded.
Perhaps the most well known exercise in mindfulness. Focus your attention on your breathing, on how it feels. Breathe in deeply through your nose (For roughly 6 seconds) then hold the breath for the count of 2. Slowly exhale through the mouth until the breath is fully and naturally released. (Just let go, don’t force it) Repeat this 10 times while remaining focused and notice how you feel. It will help with relaxation and awareness.
Similar to Feel Your Footsteps, this practice consists simply of being aware and alert while walking somewhere. Go for a walk in nature, somewhere with beautiful sights, sounds and smells. (Though it can be done anywhere) As you are walking, be aware of what you can see, smell, feel, touch and hear. Experience your surroundings through each one of your senses. This will make you feel awake, energised and alive. It will help to clear your mind and put you in the present.
The Wim Hof Method
The Wim Hof Method of breathing is a great mindfulness exercise, as well as demonstration of human capability. It involves three rounds of deep breathing with a breath hold in between each round. With each passing round you should be able to hold your breath for longer and longer, while being completely aware of your body. Please be safe when trying this practice and follow all the guidelines in the tutorial video linked.
If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness and want to begin to practice it yourself, we highly recommending reading one of or both of these books.
The Little Book of Mindfulness – Tiddy Rowan
This little book is a must have for anyone who wants to practice mindfulness. It offers insights, quotes and numerous practical tips on how to be mindful. All the exercises work wonderfully and are easy to follow. We find the book works best when you just read a couple of pages a day.
The Miracle of Mindfulness – Thich Nhat Hanh
A great read for anyone interested in mindfulness, Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist who has practiced mindfulness for many years and in this book, some of his letters on the subject have been translated and laid out for us to benefit from.