3 Mindfulness Activities to Use in Your New Daily PracticeMar 28, 2023
Practice is how mindfulness and Presence bloom, and it generally means repetitive and regular efforts—in other words, daily practice if possible.
The most important things are A) your intention to be mindful and B) your commitment to practicing mindfulness activities and forming mindful habits. Also important is the willingness to actually practice!
This is not an intellectual pursuit; it is an experiential one. As Steve Jobs said, “I began to realize that an intuitive understanding and consciousness was more significant than abstract thinking and intellectual logical analysis.”
Here are three beginning mindfulness activities for you to try:
1. Breathing exercise
Sit in a quiet place with few distractions, with your spine erect so the breath can flow without restriction, and you can notice the breath.
Keep your eyes open with a softened gaze focused downward several feet in front of you. Relax your body and find a comfortable position in which the body does not distract you.
Take 3 deep breaths through your nostrils.
Next, count to 5 on the inhale, hold your breath for a count of 3, and count to 6 as you exhale slowly through the nose. Do this several times and notice the movement of the belly and ribs as you breathe. Don’t manipulate the movement, just observe the movements as you breathe.
Do this for several minutes to positively activate the vagus nerve. The longer you can do the exercise, the more it will impact the vagus nerve, but I always suggest starting with short durations consistently and gradually increasing the time as you become familiar and comfortable with the practice.
2. Body scan exercise
A body scan is a way to place your consciousness in your body while sitting still. It takes only a few minutes.
Find a comfortable chair or cushion and sit with your back straight and eyes closed.
Place your awareness in your feet. Notice that you can direct your conscious attention where you choose in the body.
Start with the soles of your feet, slowly move to your toes, and then to the tops of your feet. Spend several moments at each body part before moving to the next.
Now, carefully place your awareness in your ankles, shins, and then calves. Slowly continue up to your knees, thighs, and hamstrings.
Gradually, move the focus of your awareness to your midsection.
Slowly become aware of your solar plexus, ribs, and lower spine.
Move up to the heart area and upper spine.
Become aware of your shoulders, biceps, forearms, wrists, and hands.
Reverse the sequence and move awareness from your hands to wrists, elbows, biceps, and then back to your shoulders.
Gently and slowly move your awareness to your neck, cheeks, ears, nose, eyes, brow, forehead, and the top of your head.
At this point, flood your entire body, from the top of your head to your toes, with awareness. Notice any tension in your body and place your attention in those areas. Notice your ability to place awareness in your body and the lack of extraneous thoughts when you do so.
This practices resting in your inner energy body as a refuge from the mind, an exploration of consciousness and an accessing of your intuition, or gut.
3. Compassion exercise
While meditating, repeat the following phrases to yourself:
May you be held in compassion.
May your pain and sorrow be eased.
May you be at peace.
May I be held in compassion.
May my pain and sorrow be eased.
May I be at peace.
Work on detaching from results and being present. Notice when you are attached to outcomes and journal about it.
Mindfulness activities allow you to practice being present, free to observe and accept the world you live in, and to share love and Presence with others.
When someone says, “The meaning of life is to be happy,” it’s the same as saying the meaning of life is Presence. Happiness occurs in the gaps of thought yielded by Presence.