A Portal For Happy Moments
Are you in need of a mindfulness break? Try these three mindfulness exercises.
Focus On Nature
When you are feeling stress and need to still your mind, this is a good exercise to find your center again. If you are by a window or outside, focus your attention on the natural environment. Visually set your attention on a plant, cloud or bird. Explore the outline of the object. Take in as much detail as possible, immersing yourself in its presence. Being focused and present for those few minutes will reset your mind and release tension. When you are ready to release your focus, slowly bring your consciousness back to your space.
Journal Moments Of Appreciation
Complaining is too easy. That’s why we all can fall into negativity traps in seconds and miss the finer things in life that are right in front of us. Open up to new moments of happiness by scheduling at least two or three appreciation breaks in your day. You won’t forget if you simply set alarms on your phone labeled “Appreciate!” You can do this in the morning to start off in a positive mindset. Also, journaling your appreciation at night gives your subconscious a reset from the day and helps you start off the next day in a more positive mindset.
Take at least one minute to write or type in a journal a short note about what you appreciate right now. In every moment, we depend on so many things. Notice them. Appreciate that your phone is working, you have toilet paper, there are trees outside your window, or any thought that pops into your mind. Even if you are in a place where you feel stuck, you won’t be there forever, so think of what you can appreciate now because this moment will be gone forever! Troubles melt away in seconds when you choose to be present — and appreciate!
Reinvent Your Breathing
When we grow up, we forget how to really breathe. We don’t even think about it, so most of the time, our breaths can get shallow, quick and mechanical as we feel more stressed. To help in letting it all go, do this practice when you come home from work.
Lie down on the couch or a soft rug. Let your hands rest on your stomach next to your belly button. Inhale, then exhale, and imagine your body sinking down a little into the soft surface. Repeat for three breaths. Now as you inhale, allow your stomach to rise up, pushing up your hands. When you exhale, let your stomach fall down. Your hands will make you aware of your stomach rising up with each inhalation and coming down with each exhalation. Repeat this technique for 10 breaths.
When you really start liking it and want more, add this additional step after the first two steps. Count the length of your breaths. Count the seconds in your head for each inhalation and exhalation. Don’t force them to be any length. Just try to gradually inhale and exhale for the same amount of time. Eventually, you’ll be able to take longer, deeper breaths and release all the tension from your day.
Everyone gets distracted so don’t be discouraged if getting into the present moment is elusive at first. Sometimes it happens for a second and then it’s gone. Most of the time it’s longer but feels like a second. Being mindful can be a portal for happy moments and, with practice, a new way of life.
Suzanne Leopold started Living Mavens in 2016 to share some of the products and techniques that help her focus inward and transform her life. To learn more on how to consciously create a life you love, go to www.livingmavens.com.