Want to practice mindfulness today? Following are the 5 mindfulness exercises for beginners which are simple yet very powerful and effective for bringing self-awareness. These are a few simple mindful habits that anyone can start doing from today in order to lead a more fulfilling and focused life.
So, let’s get started!
1. Mindful Breathing
Mindful breathing is one the most practiced mindfulness exercises for beginners. The intention of this technique is to help center us in the moment in order to become fully aware of the present moment. It can be done standing up or sitting down, and pretty much anywhere at any time. This is an easy mindfulness exercise for beginners that can be done anytime throughout your day. It requires you to focus on your breath for 60 seconds or more.
- Start by breathing in and out slowly. With each breath, settle down and relax.
- Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, letting your breath flow effortlessly in and out of your body.
- Let go of your thoughts and anything else that requires your attention and be one with your breath. Let thoughts come and go.
- Purposefully watch your breath as it enters your body and fills you with life.
- If your mind starts wandering, simply notice this and return your attention and awareness to your breath. You may notice your mind wandering at many points during this meditation; it’s simply what it does. Merely observe this tendency, and without judgment, return your awareness to your breathing.
- Then watch with your awareness as it comes up and out of your mouth.
- Notice what’s happening in your mind. If you notice your mind wandering or your thoughts drifting again, don’t judge yourself or react self-critically. Simply notice it, and gently redirect your attention and awareness back to your breathing.
- Do this for as long as you are comfortable.
- When you are ready gently open your eyes and bring your awareness back to your surroundings.
2. Mindful observation
This is the second and one of the easiest mindfulness exercises for beginners. In this mindfulness exercise we feel, sense, see, taste, touch and hear without labeling it, reacting to it or judging it. This technique helps you notice and appreciate your senses in a more profound way.
- Choose an object from within your immediate environment, for example, a pen or cup and hold it in your hand.
- Focus on watching it for a while. Allow your attention to be fully absorbed by the object.
- Don’t do anything except observing it as it is. Simply relax into watching for as long as your concentration allows.
- Visually explore every aspect of its formation, and allow yourself to be consumed by its presence.
- Allow yourself to connect with its energy and its purpose within the natural world.
- Notice how quickly your mind releases thoughts of past or future and how fulfilling it feels in the moment.
3. Mindfulness for anxiety
The third technique is one of the most effective mindfulness exercises for beginners. It can be practiced anytime and anywhere. It helps relieve stress and anxiety, make you more alert to your present moment experience of your body and senses. People practicing this mindfulness exercise regularly feel more grounded and relaxed most of the time.
- Sit up straight or lie down.
- Take a few deep breaths, inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly.
- Let go of any stress or tension in your body like shoulders, legs etc.
- Allow your breath to return to normal and bring your awareness to your feelings while breathing.
- You might feel physical sensations as you breathe. Place your awareness there and be with it.
- If your mind wanders( which it will) gently, place your attention back on your breath non-judgementally.
- Whenever your mind deviates, simply notice and with compassion and love for yourself accept or acknowledge that your mind has wandered place your awareness back to the physical sensation of breathing.
- Simply breath and notice what it feels like to breathe in this present moment.
- Allow yourself to dive into this moment, explore it and be curious about it.
- When you are ready to come out of this meditation, once again notice how you feel in your body.
- Be with this feeling as you go out into your day.
4. Mindfulness for better sleep
This is one of the best mindfulness exercises for beginners that is designed to improve sleep and practicing it regularly promotes relaxation, calmness and a sense of embodied ease. It is also effective in reducing excessive food cravings, worry, anxiety, and stress.
- Lay flat on your back
- Feel the weight of your body pressing against the bed or sheet underneath you.
- Notice the sensations while lying.
- Take some deep breaths and relax the body.
- Notice what it feels like to be simply lying down.
- Simply be there and enjoy the relaxation and rest.
- Consciously notice and release tension for each body starting from face to feet.
- As you breathe naturally and calmly, continually soften and loosen different areas of the body.
- Once you’re done, with a sense of calm and kindness wish yourself a peaceful sleep.
5. Mindful walking
The aim of this exercise is to bring more caring awareness to the body. It helps heal mind and body. The more you will practice this, the more you will feel embodied. Bringing mindfulness to the act of walking can help one become more alive, relaxed and alert.
- Start by loosening your body a little bit. Drop your shoulders, soften your belly and relax your knees.
- Feel your body weight pressing against the ground.
- Take a full, slow breath in and then breathe out as fully as you can, relaxing the body.
- Again breathe even deeply and slowly and exhale as fully and as comfortably as you can.
- Now, being aware of your breath start walking at an easy, thoughtful pace.
- Feel your feet and notice how it feels when they touch the ground.
- Now, just let your awareness rest there for a while.
- Feel the sensation of your body in motion as you continue to breathe in and out.
- Pay attention to your senses as you go along. The colors around you might appear to be more sharp and vivid, the fragrances of your surrounding more distinct and richer.
- Be aware of what’s around you while breathing in and out.
- Feeling peaceful, easy, complete and stronger walk for as long as you wish.
- Keep bringing your attention back to the breath, to the feel of your feet on the ground and to the beauty of your surroundings coming to you through all of your senses.
So, these were the 5 mindfulness exercises for beginners. Experience and see for yourself which of the above-mentioned exercises works for you. It may take some time to see the results you desire, so practice them regularly.
Why mindfulness meditation?
Because doing it regularly:
- Reduces pain and enhances the body’s immune system.
- Reduces feelings of depression, anxiety, anger, and confusion
- Increases blood flow and slows the heart rate.
- Provides a sense of calm, peace and balance.
- Helps reverse heart disease.
- Helps control thoughts.
- Increases energy.
- Reduces stress.
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”- Buddha