Just breathe: One Minute to Mindfulness
Mindfulness has become something of a hot topic in recent years. Entire books, courses and seminars have been devised to assist us in a more mindful existence but the premise and action of mindfulness is really quite simple and accessible to everyone.
Unlike formal mediation practices, mindfulness is simply about directing your attention to the present moment without judgement.
It can be done by anyone, at anytime, anywhere and the benefits are far reaching: reduced stress, less emotional reactivity, decreased anxiety and depression, the list goes on.
It’s not about having to set aside an hour, have special equipment or be in a certain environment – mindfulness is accessible to all of us all the time.
This week we have been challenging you to set aside one minute for mindfulness. No excuses, no matter how busy our lives are, one little minute out of your day could make huge differences to all the other minutes so give it a go!
Here are some simple one minute mindfulness exercises to try
Just breathe – Yes, that’s it. Set aside one minute to consciously breathe. Take deep, consistent breaths in and out. Take note of how the air feels on the in breath. Feel your body relax on the out breath. You are guaranteed to feel more relaxed in just one minute!
Mindful Observation – Take an object such as your favourite crystal. For one minute, observe it. How does it feel in your hand? What temperature is it? What colour is it? Does the colour change when you move it around your hand? How does it make you feel? Simply be present in the moment with your object and observe.
Body Awareness – Take one minute to observe the sensations within your body. Where are the tensions? What feels good? This grounding exercise will bring you back into your body and out of emotional chaos.
Mindfully Eat – Take a small piece of chocolate or fruit, whatever you like. Spend one minute mindfully eating it. Do nothing else while you note how it tastes, the consistency, how it makes you feel. Really savour it for a full minute.
Mindfully Walk – This is particularly good for those of us who are sat in front of screens for most of the day. Take one minute our to walk mindfully. How do your feet feel as they touch the ground? What other sensations do you notice in the body? This simple one minute exercise will get the blood flowing and bring you back to the present revitalised.
Mindful Immersion – Most of us operate on autopilot for large parts of the day. We conduct most of our activities without giving it much thought. Think about cleaning or driving for example. For one minute, during one of these daily tasks, immerse yourself fully in the moment. Observe your environment, focus in fully on what you are doing and how your body feels while you are doing it.
There are many, many ways to cultivate mindfulness in our daily lives and it really doesn’t need planning, foresight and valuable extra time.
With the pay-off so big and the investment so small, now is the time to bring mindfulness into your life starting with just one minute.
Why not start with this minute?