5 Mindfulness Exercises You Can Try Today to Improve Your Awareness

Mindfulness exercises allow you to take time out of your day to reflect and reflect. Each exercise will introduce you to the practice of meditation.

Mindfulness is about acknowledgment of internal and external processes. Taking just a few minutes to meditate can have some fantastic benefits. However, meditation is a practice. You’re not going to be excellent at it your first time. But the benefits are long lasting.

In this article, I will explain a few short mindfulness exercises and techniques that I have tried and tested that will help you ease into your mindfulness and meditation practices.  

What are Mindfulness Exercises?

Mindfulness exercises are a way to incorporate mindful meditation into your daily life. Mindfulness meditation encourages you to be aware of what is happening to you in the present moment, like the opposite of zoning out. 

These exercises are easy and quick ways to start practicing mindfulness. Remember that meditation is something you have to practice. You might not feel anything after the first time, but if you do one of these exercises once a day for a week, you will start to notice changes in your perception.

These mindfulness exercises are easy and take only a fraction of your day.

  1. Three Minute Breathing 
  • First, start by sitting down somewhere comfortable. Set a timer for three minutes. Notice everything in your current environment.
  • Next, focus on your breath. Notice where it starts and where it stops. 
  • Then, expand your awareness to other parts of your body. Notice how you are sitting or if you feel any discomfort. 
  • Finally, return your focus to your breath and feel the inhalation until your timer buzzes. 

  1. The Raisin Exercise

The raisin exercise is a precursor to mindful eating. This exercise sets your focus solidly in the present moment. You don’t have to use a Raisin. You can substitute the raisin for a dried cranberry or an almond. Any type of small food item with a complex texture will work. 

  • get a raisin or some other small food item like an almond or a dried cranberry. Hold the raisin in the palm of your hand. 
  • Imagine that you have never seen a raisin before. 
  • Focus on the raisin, really explore it with your eyes.
  • Close your eyes and roll the raisin through your fingers. Notice its texture.
  • Bring the raisin up to your nose and take note of the smell.
  • Close your eyes again and bring the raisin to your mouth. 
  • Notice how your hand and arm work together. Feel how you know exactly where your mouth is.
  • Place the raisin in your mouth and explore it with your tongue. 
  • When you are ready, take one or two little bites of the raisin. Focus on the flavor.
  • Chew slowly and feel how the taste rolls over your tongue. 
  • When you feel the urge, swallow the raisin. Notice how the urge to swallow arises. 
  • Notice how long you can still feel the raisin in your body. At what point can you no longer feel it?

This exercise forces you to be in the present moment. The raisin acts as a focal point. It gives you something to focus on. It helps you tap into all your senses in a short exercise. 

  1. The Body Scan

The body scan is a type of meditation where you take a moment to focus on each part of your body. I had experienced This type of meditation before in my quest to get better sleep. 

  • Lay or sit down in a comfortable position.
  • Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. 
  • Choose a part of your party. I like to start with my left foot.
  • As you breathe, focus all your attention on your chosen part. 
  • Notice any sensations you feel in that location.
  • If you feel discomfort, sit with it for a breath or two.
  • Acknowledge the sensations and realize how they change the more you focus on them.
  • Slowly let go of your focus. 
  • Return your focus to your breath.
  • Move on to the next body part and repeat the process.
  • If you get lost in thought, notice where the thoughts come from and where they go.
  • If you find your mind wandering, return to your breath and start from where you left off.
  • Once you’ve scanned your entire body, sit in that moment of awareness.
  • Breathe and visualize your body as a whole. Understand the way it all functions and works together.
  • When you are ready, return your focus to your breath. 
  • Slowly return your focus to your surroundings, open your eyes, and fully return. 
  1. Three-Minute Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is a way to appreciate what you are eating fully. Mindful eating is a way to approach food without judgment, especially self-judgment. This exercise can be done with any food at any time. Just try your best to be comfortable. 

  • Once you have your food in front of you, set a three-minute timer.
  • First, notice how you feel. Are you hungry? Are you excited to eat? Are you anxious about what you are eating?
  • Take a moment to use your eyes. Look at the food in front of you. 
  •  Next, breathe in. Notice any smells or sensations you may feel.
  • Make a conscious effort to touch your utensil or food.
  • Notice how the food feels on your utensil or on your fingers. Is your food warm or cold? Light or heavy?
  • Take a bite and roll the food around your mouth. Engage with the flavors without chewing.
  • Begen to chew slowly. Notice how the texture and flavors change.
  • When you’re ready, swallow. See if you can feel the food flowing into your body.
  • Pause for a moment and notice any changes in your emotional state.
  • After the timer ends, take a moment to reflect.
  • Then, continue eating however you would like.

You might find that mindful eating encourages you to eat slower and appreciate your food. You might also notice how your awareness shifted from your surroundings to the present moment.  

  1. Walking Meditation

Walking meditation is a type of mindfulness exercise that requires no special setting. The location doesn’t need to be quiet or empty. You might not want to be observed, but that’s up to you. You can do this anywhere you can walk safely, whether indoors or out. In fact, “walking” isn’t necessary for this mediation. This mediation can work with any kind of mobility device. 

  • Find a location. Somewhere, you can move at least 20 feet in one direction. 
  • Take a deep breath and start moving. Move about 20 ft and stop. 
  • Breathe for a second. 
  • When you’re ready, turn around and move in the other direction. 
  • As you move, try to notice the noises that surround you. 
  • Let your mind drift in and out of thought. Then, return focus to your breath and your movement. 

While you are moving, pay attention to individual actions. If you are walking, take a not of how you lift one foot. Notice how you shift your weight before setting your foot down. Focus on how the process is repeated on the other side. 

If you are using another mobility device. Consider the points of touch. How does your body respond to the sensation of pressure? How do you feel as you move forward? How does your experience change from one movement to the next? 

Benefits of Mindful Exercises 

Clinical trials have shown that mindfulness can help reduce stress, anxiety, insomnia, and other health issues. For me, mindfulness has made it easier to clear my mind and find what I call stillness. Stillness is judgmentless acceptance of a current moment.

With just a few moments of stillness a day, I feel like I can hang on a little better. In general, it can reduce stress and your overall health and ability to deal with the bullshit.

Mindful Breathing

There is nothing significant about breathing or focusing on your breath. It is just something we all do and easy to focus on. We can easily do it automatically or do it consciously. Mindful breathing is one of the easiest ways to enter meditation. 

Mindful Awareness

Have you ever left your house, and halfway through your day, you realize you’re unsure if you locked your door? Your brain goes into autopilot when you do compelling actions every day. Mindful awareness helps you actively exit that autopilot. 

Mindful awareness is practicing mindfulness while completing a routine task. The most straightforward practice for conscious awareness is identifying touch points. Touch points are the first moment when you begin experiencing something. 

The moment you grab the door handle on the way to work can be a touch point. Take a second to feel your mind and notice how the handle turns in your hand. Increasing your appreciation of everyday activities and objects only takes a second.

Mindful Listening

Mindful listening is that you are hearing sounds without prejudice. We are often annoyed by the sounds we hear, whether the sound of construction or a song we don’t like, people talking too loudly, or kids screaming. 

The fact is that though you are annoyed by a sound, the sound isn’t inherently annoying. It just is. Next time you hear a sound, annoying or not, think about where it is coming from. Don’t guess the source. Consider the nature of the sound. Break it down into its components. 

The point of mindful listening is to accept sounds as they come. And to understand that your emotional connection to a sound affects your reaction to it. 

Living in the Moment

Living in the Moment is probably the more accessible mindfulness practice. That doesn’t mean that it is east. This practice involves bringing attention to everything you do. Once you pay attention, you can then apply appreciation. 

It may sound a little wack, but living in the moment means respecting and appreciating everything that makes you conscious- your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and emotions. By living in the moment, you can understand the little things in life, even if they aren’t always positive.

Read Next: Labeling Emotions

FAQ

What are physical activities for mindfulness?

Any physical activity can work with mindfulness medication. The most common activities are yoga, walking, and swimming/floating. However, the goal of mindfulness is to experience the present moment fully. You can achieve this while doing almost any activity. 

What is a 2-minute mindfulness activity?

Mindful listening can be done in just 2 minutes. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Now, shift your focus to the noises you hear. Without judgment, let them enter your awareness. Notice how they stop and start. When you’re ready, open your eyes.

What is 50-50 mindfulness technique?

The practice of keeping half of your awareness on the outside world and half on your own experience.

Photo of author
Author
Jillian has been on a journey to find peace in the chaos since 2016. Mindfulness, meditation, and yoga have helped them keep present. They have been writing as a passion since an early age and writing professionally since 2018.