The other day I was driving to work and had a moment of thought where I felt my presence and realized I am here, this is the present moment. I registered that I have been living in autopilot mode and haven’t taken a conscious breath in months. The ability to be in the moment without any judgment of the past or future is what people refer to as mindfulness.
This practice of self-awareness, which was first developed by Buddhists about 2600 years ago, has become a common part of our society now. Mindfulness is being practiced in various public spaces such as hospitals, schools, and military teams and is praised by numerous health authorities.
Research has explored the potential benefits of mindfulness to contribute to emotional well-being, especially during times of widespread crisis. During challenging times, incorporating mindful practices into your routine can help curb anxiety and build healthy coping mechanisms. Being certain of what is happening in the present moment allows one to observe what is rising and what is drifting away. By allowing thoughts to flow without attachment, without trying to hold on to them, we learn that stillness follows. Being mindful is exactly what it sounds like; it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some simple mindful activities to practice in our daily lives.
- Squeeze your muscles: Pick any muscle from your body and squeeze it tight. Count to five and then release.
- Breath through your stomach: Put one hand on your stomach and another on your chest. Slowly breathe in from your stomach and breathe out and feel the stomach expanding and contracting.
- Mindful eating: Pay attention to the way your food smells and tastes. Take a good look at your food and do not do anything else meanwhile.
- Blow bubbles: Blow some bubbles and notice their shapes, textures, and colors. Observe how they float in the air.
- Colouring: Start coloring something and focus on the colors, patterns, and designs.
- Meditation: Sit in a relaxed position and focus on your breath. If your mind wanders into thoughts bring your attention back to your breath.
- Listen to music: Focus on the voice of the singer or the sound of a particular instrument. Try to notice the beat while listening to music.