With the unpredictability of daily life, the ability to slow things down and be completely present is something that takes quite a bit of work.
This is called mindfulness.
Psychology Today describes it as the emphasis on being ‘purposeful’, which is crucial to avoid living on autopilot. Similar to meditation or yoga, the benefits of mindfulness are stunning, especially when practiced on a daily basis. I know we all lead busy lives, so I’d like to share with you 6 simple exercises you can incorporate right into your everyday life, starting from sunup to sundown.
1. Morning Breathing
If you’re looking for new ways on how to practice mindfulness, or you aren’t quite sure where to begin, one of the best things you can do is to start practicing a mindful breathing routine. And one of the easiest ways to do this is to start first thing in the morning (of course!), just as you are waking up.
- In a comfortable position, lie on your back with your hands gently resting on your abdomen.
- Start to take steady breaths in and out for at least 5 minutes.
- Pay attention to the feeling of your hands moving up and down on your abdomen as you breathe in and out. Finding mindfulness is being completely aware of how you feel while you’re breathing.
- Notice as you become more and more mindful in your breathing, your body will follow and do the same, so take note of your senses. As you are in complete silence, you may start to feel a release of tension and anxiety.
- It’s natural, especially if you are just starting out, for your mind to shift and wander. But remember, you are in full control at this moment so when you start to drift, simply pull yourself right back into that steady breathing to stay on track.
- As you lie there, and no matter how long, pay attention to each and every moment.
Again, this is a fantastic way to start your morning because you are using guided breathing to set the tone for the day ahead. When you experience your breathing moment by moment, you are letting go of the past and allowing yourself to receive and appreciate the present.
Dedicate at least 5-minutes every morning to where you are entirely guiding your focus on your breathing only. Getting used to mindful breathing takes time, but the more you practice it daily, the longer you’ll be able to do it.
2. Mindful Visualization
Now that you’re feeling calm and relaxed from your morning breathing routine, the next organic step in setting up the most productive day is to use the Law of Attraction to set your goals or intentions. I like to call this one mindful visualization. To use the Law of Attraction successfully, you have to incorporate mindfulness as well.
- Focus on activating your mind for prosperity in whatever it is that you desire in life. And don’t overwhelm yourself - start with only a couple goals each day.
- For each goal, no matter how big or small, visualize that it’s already been completed and crossed off your list.
- Maybe you want to shed a few pounds or learn a new language. Use your mind to unlock all of the positive emotions that come from completing this goal.
- Take note of those emotions too, because whether you have completed your goal or are visualizing having completed the goal, your mind can’t tell the difference.
It’s these types of gratitude exercises I enjoy using every day because your positive reactions and emotions associated with your intentions in life are what help you to manifest them that much faster.
3. Shower Meditation
Time spent in the shower is not only good for personal hygiene, but also a great time to practice mindfulness. And since you are hopefully showering often ;-), this is a great exercise to throw right into your morning regimen.
- Close your eyes and fully engulf yourself in the feelings you receive as the water hits your body. Remember to “Bring to your mind the idea that you are about to cleanse yourself for the good health of your body and mind.”
- Take a deep inhale and notice how the steam soothes your sinuses.
- Pay attention to the nourishing lather of soap and the senses that are ignited as you wash your skin.
- Allow yourself to be fully present in receiving cleansing water all over your body.
You’re not only nourishing your body, but also your mind. You are putting yourself in a space where your thoughts are so clear that you see this experience as more than just an everyday shower. It becomes a tool to help you become the best version of yourself each day.
4. Mindful Eating
With a busy day, stopping down to enjoy a meal can be difficult. So when you take a lunch break in the afternoon, use this as an opportunity to practice mindful eating.
- First, you have to see your food. That means pay attention to the colors and textures of what you are about to put into your body.
- Then open up those senses as you take your first bite, noticing all of the aromas and textures.
- Take slow and deliberate bites, completely consuming yourself in the act of chewing. We may be used to rushing while we eat, so use this opportunity to identify your eating habits and behaviors.
- The act of eating creates complete sensory overload, so be sure also to take note of when you are starting to feel full, reminding your mind of when you are satisfied and can stop eating.
You’re not just eating. You are experiencing the food in front of you - every moment from the first bite to the last swallow. You see, this type of mindfulness exercise will also help your relationship with food. By practicing mindful eating, you are allowing yourself to see the full power of what you were putting into your body and that this is the food for the soul that you need!
5. Mindful Movement
For those of us working in an environment where sitting at a desk for hours is the norm, incorporating mindful movement into your daily routine is another fantastic way to realign and re-center yourself for success. If you are experiencing stress, restlessness, or nerves, mindful movements are highly beneficial to easing those emotions.
- Start by standing up and taking a big deep breath and then, exhale slowly.
- Slowly raise your arms over your head while you take another inhale. Feel free to repeat this step as needed.
- As you release your breath, bend your upper half all the way over until you are able to touch your toes. Really use these movements as a way to release any pressure or tension through your exhale.
- Remember to stay in the moment to feel the weight of your body as it moves forward.
- Pay attention to the stretching of your muscles. You’ll be able to feel that pressure and tension leaving your body as you move. Treat each movement as negativity and toxicity, leaving your body.
- As you come back to standing position, think about how your body is feeling right now. Are you energized? Refreshed? Take note of these feelings.
Not only is this an awesome mid-day stretch, but a way to take your mind off of anything that could be weighing you down that day. No matter how busy all of us are, we can spare a few moments to reconnect our bodies with our minds.
6. Mindful Evenings
Just like we began with a morning breathing routine, having a similar ritual in the evening is just as important. A full day of work, meetings, appointments, activities, etc. can weigh heavy on the body. So at night, just as you are getting to bed, create a mindful ritual you can use to help you to wind down.
- Start by shutting down your computer, phone, TV, etc. - anything that may distract your mind.
- Dim the lights and find your comfy spot in bed.
- You may consider starting with a few exaggerated breaths. That means holding a deep inhale for a few seconds followed by a slow but powerful exhale. I find this most helpful in the evenings.
- Just as we practiced in the morning, lie on your back and begin with steady breaths in and out.
- Close your eyes and let yourself fully relax. Feel the weight of your body sink deeper and deeper into the mattress.
- Again, with the build-up of the day weighing on you at this time, your mind may want to wander, but that’s okay. Just refocus your thoughts on your breathing.
- Since it’s bedtime, you can repeat this as much as you’d like until you’re fast asleep.
A ritual you practice in the evening can be used to help you get relaxed to have an easier time falling asleep. This will also aid in your quality of sleep for that night to have you waking up feeling happy and rejuvenated the next day.
These daily mindfulness exercises are here to help you unlock your mind to becoming a better you.
To show you that you have the power to manifest a healthier and more prosperous life.
And if that’s the life you desire, be sure to take advantage of our bestselling Law of Attraction course, offered at a huge discount right here. This is a limited time offer, so grab it before it’s gone!
And remember, “Mindfulness is a state of awareness. It is “presence” of mind.” All that matters is the present moment you are in. You are in control and fully capable of living the life you desire.
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.