Whenever we find ourselves worrying about the unknowns and the “what ifs” of the future, it is important to take a moment and practice mindfulness. Why? Mindfulness helps us increase our own ability to regulate emotions and observe our thoughts without judgment. It is a way to focus our minds on the present. By staying in the present, we are able to make healthier decisions and manage our emotions.
During COVID19, people have experienced a time of challenges and vulnerability. Being in the present may feel challenging during these times. These exercises are meant to bring awareness to the present moment quickly. Start small, 5 minutes a day can make an impact on your mood, sleep, and health.
6 Exercises to Aid in Mindfulness
1) Five Sense Exercise: Using your 5 senses, identify 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.
2) Awareness Breathing: taking 6 deep breathes, notice the effects of your breathing on your shoulders, chest, and stomach.
3) Nature Observation: Pick up an object from outside (a leaf, flower, branch), hold it in your hand, and give it your full attention. Notice the texture, shape, and colors.
4) Guided Meditation: Find a comfortable place, close your eyes, breathe in and out. Listen to a guided meditation online.
5) Mindful Wake Up: Have you ever woke up in the morning and your to-do list for the day is the first thing you think about? Feel overwhelmed before you even get out of bed? When you wake up tomorrow, try sitting up in your bed, take 3 deep breathes, and ask yourself what can you do today to care for yourself.
6) Gratitude List: Create an ongoing list of things that you are grateful for. Be specific.
Lastly, remember to show yourself self-compassion. Be as kind to yourself as you would your friends and family. If you’re interested in learning more or taking the next step please visit us at specializedtherapy.com or call 201-488-6678.