Sometimes, sitting down for even just 5 minutes can already be difficult–especially when you’re dealing with anxiety and stress, or are simply busy and on the go. All the same, you can still make room for your mindfulness practice. Here are 1 minute mindfulness exercises you can do:
1. Pay attention to the sounds around you.
Restless during your morning commute? Take a pause and observe the sounds that you can hear around you–whether it’s the voices of other people, the rumbling of vehicles by the roadside, or maybe just the twittering of birds.
Try not to judge any of the sounds you hear, no matter how unpleasant you may find them. Simply take note of and acknowledge them. After a minute or less, allow the mind to wander again.
2. Feel your connection to the earth.
Whether you’re sitting, standing, or walking, notice your feet planted against the mat. If you’re in the office, notice your feet grazing the floor underneath you. If you’re taking a walk, try mindful walking.
Stress and anxiety can often leave you feeling far away and disconnected from ourselves. Realizing your connection to the earth can help you feel more grounded.
3. Practice self-affirmations.
Pick a mantra that resonates you–this can be an inspirational quote that you connect with, or simply familiarize yourself with a loving kindness meditation.
When you feel tired or overwhelmed but still have a lot of tasks ahead of you, take a pause and recite your chosen affirmation or meditation to yourself.
You can write it down, tack it onto your desktop, or even set an alarm on your phone to help remind you to stop what you’re doing and repeat it to yourself.
4. Count your breath.
If you don’t have the headspace for a full meditation and pranayama practice, try counting your breath instead.
Simply become aware of your breath, and then count your inhalations and exhalations. Feel your breath gradually slow down, and notice how much more expansive your breath becomes.
Do this for a minute or less, then go back to what you were doing.
5. Notice colors.
Pick a color that appears soothing to you, and then become aware of its presence in the everyday things you see. If you pick blue, for example, notice the blueness of the sky outside your office window. If you pick green, notice the leaves of a nearby indoor plant.
These simple exercises–as well as all of these 1 minute mindfulness exercises you can do–also help you cultivate gratitude.
Noticing the beauty in the mundane is one method to practice mindfulness, and also a way to gain a newfound appreciation in life.