Do you have a mindfulness routine? A lot of us would automatically associate mindfulness with meditation and we’d be right. Meditation is a form of mindfulness, but it’s not the only way to be mindful.
Mindfulness can include movement too. Things like breathing routines, gentle exercise, simple movements, and a variety of activities that connect the mind and the body.
Today, I’m going to share a list of 10 simple mindfulness activities. Each of them takes 10 minutes or less and they are designed to mix and match throughout your day. A mindful movement routine has never been easier.
What Is Mindfulness and Why Should We Care?
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present moment. As we bring our focus to the present moment, we notice the sensations of our body and breath without judgement.
We live in a fast-paced and often stressful world. Whether you are managing a chronic health condition or just need advice for ways to slow down and de-stress, mindfulness has something to offer you. There is research that supports its impact on reducing stress and anxiety and improving heart health and overall happiness.
Throughout my career teaching Pilates and helping people move their bodies, it’s become clear to me that mindfulness is a natural result of noticing and building awareness in the body. Movement can transform into a mindfulness practice by focusing on the sensations of the body and breathing.
What Are Mindful Movements?
When you focus on the sensation of your movement and the breath, any movement or exercise can become a mindful movement. We can take a moment to reach into a deep stretch with the quality of a yawn in the body. Being mindful to notice exactly how that movement feels.
Or we could take a walk or even a jog while paying attention to the sensations of our body and the world around us. Noticing things like the smells in nature, sounds of birds, or the breeze on your skin as you go.
That clear focus of your attention on the sensations of the movements and world around you is the practice of mindfulness. If and when your mind wanders, you gently guide it back to focus on your breath or the sensation of your body without judgement. This is the essence of a mindful movement practice.
What Are Some Mindfulness Activities?
Here are 10 simple ways to incorporate mindfulness and mindful movement into your daily routines.
Spend time in nature and use your senses to be present. Notice the sound of the leaves blowing in the breeze or birds chirping. Recognize how the air feels on your skin. Be aware of the things that are happening in the present moment.
Take 10 simple, quiet breaths with long exhales. When we allow our exhales to be longer than our inhales, it calms our nervous system.
Pause before each meal for a moment and reset your focus. Take your time and savor the taste of each bite and how your senses are engaged.
Throughout the day, simply practice noticing your thoughts without judgement. Paying attention to your thoughts in the present moment is a key element of mindfulness.
If you sit at a desk, try to move around once an hour. Taking a 10-minute break every hour will go a long way to help you increase movement in your day.
Write down three things that you are grateful for each day. Practicing gratitude can improve our mood and increase our sense of well-being.
Set Your Intention
Note your vision for the start of each day. Bringing awareness to our objectives for the day will help keep our focus on our priorities.
Allow yourself to be in the moment without trying to control or judge. This can take some practice!
Take time to go for a short walk in the woods or just around the block. Or park as far away from an entrance as possible when you’re out and about.
Whatever type of movement makes you feel great, just get moving for 10 minutes. When you’re finished, notice how your body feels.
Practice Makes Healthy Habits
Mindful movement can be an excellent way to care for ourselves in times where we are anxious or responding to stress. Consistent practice is an essential ingredient to feeling change. The more you practice, the more you notice when your mind wanders and the more you are able to be a gentle guide to yourself back to the sensations of the body and breath.
It takes time to build a new habit or routine. Start by adding one or two of these activities to your day and add more as you can.
When you’re ready to expand on this simple list of activities, a movement professional can help you learn to dive deeper into your mindful movement practice. Enjoy a free trial of interactive livestream classes with MOVE Wellness.
How do you practice mindfulness in your day? When you take time to focus you mind, what is the result? How do you feel afterwards? What activities make you the most mindful throughout your day?