Do you still think it’s a bit abstract, that mindful life? Then try these simple exercises. You can easily schedule them in your busy schedule. All you have to do is be open to the rest and try not to get distracted. Is that not working well? No worries! Mindfulness also applies: practice makes perfect.
Exercise 1: three, two, one, go!
Many people find it difficult to focus their attention on the here and now. By counting, you can calm your brain and clear your head for a moment. Actually, it works the same as counting sheep.
- Focus on your breathing.
- Count your breath and start with one.
- Slowly count to ten and then start over again.
- If you find that your attention is gone, start over with one again.
- Continue this until you find yourself paying full attention to the now.
Exercise 2: don’t think, but feel
You can do this exercise in principle with any part of the body, but for now, we focus on your feet. You can even do this exercise at work, on the train, or on the bus.
- Focus your attention on your left foot.
- Feel your foot without moving it.
- Think: Does your foot feel hot or cold? And how does the ground feel under your feet?
- Now feel the sides of your feet, the top, your heel, and your ankle again without moving your foot!
- Check your toes one by one. Do you feel a difference between your toes?
- Now repeat the exercise on your right foot.
Exercise 3: eat you’re mindful
Put that newspaper or phone away while eating. With this exercise, you eat without any distractions, such as a conversation or other stimuli. Bon appetit!
- Make sure you take the time for your food.
- Avoid getting distracted by your phone, computer, or TV.
- Take a bite, but wait a while before chewing.
- Let your senses do their work. What do you smell? What structure do you feel? What do you taste?
- Chew gently on your food and taste how the structure changes and what flavors come off.
- Consciously swallow your food and wait a while before taking another bite.