Mindful minute –
try before an important meeting, exam, or while waiting for a train.
Find something to time yourself with
Sit or stand comfortably in a relaxed upright position feet flat on the floor
Hands in your lap or by your side if you are standing
Relax your shoulders and jaw
Close your eyes or relax your gaze and bring attention to your breath
Start the timer and just allow yourself to breathe normally
The idea here is not anything other than count how many breaths you take in a minute
By focussing on the awareness of your breath just for one minute, it will help to calm your mind.
(with acknowledgement to Michael Chaskalson (2011) The Mindful Workplace)
The chocolate meditation –
try this when you need a nice treat – but not too much!
Choose some chocolate that you have not tried before or that you consume only rarely. Find a quiet place to sit and relax.
Open the packaging, inhale the aroma. Let it sweep over you
Break off a piece and really look at it, examining every nook and cranny.
Pop it into your mouth. See if its possible to hold it in your mouth and let it melt, noticing any tendency to suck at it. Chocolate has over 300 different flavours. See if you can sense some of them.
If you notice your mind wandering onto other things then just gently escort it back to the present moment
After the chocolate has completely melted, swallow it very slowly and deliberately. Let it trickle down your throat.
Repeat this with one more piece.
Did you find more enjoyment eating the chocolate in this mindful way? Rather than if you had eaten it at a breakneck pace or while doing something else?
(with acknowledgement to Mark Williams and Danny Penman (2011) Mindfulness – a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world.)
Walking meditation –
try a 15 minute walk around the block to 30 minutes or longer
When you are walking try to adopt an open frame of mind and watch the world move through your awareness, rather than you moving through the world.
Walk as mindfully as you can, focussing awareness on your feet; heel to toe as they touch the ground, feeling the movements in your muscles and tendons in your feet and legs.
Take in everything around you;
Sights – colours, textures, shapes, architecture, clouds, people, animals.
Sounds- birdsong, wind, rain, cars, trains, voices, dogs barking.
Smells- car exhausts, food cooking, scented flowers and trees, freshly cut grass.
By taking the time to really notice what is around us, giving our full attention rather than just skimming over our daily life, allows us to enjoy the moment we are in which can lead to a more productive and fulfilling life.
Hope these exercises help you to bring body and mind together and get more from your day.