10 Mindfulness Exercises To Help You Stay Present

January 24, 2018

10 Mindfulness Exercises To Help You Stay Present

1. Reverse the order you do things.

Allow yourself to enter a beginner’s mindset by reversing the order in which you towel yourself off, get dressed, and put on your socks and shoes in the morning. This will help your mind to stay out of its all-too-common auto settings and instead help it to stay present in the moment of the task.

2. Write with the opposite hand.

Use the mouse with the opposite hand or brush your hair with the opposite hand. You’ll laugh at how preschool-ish your handwriting suddenly becomes, and how you really have to focus on making your letters NOT look like potatoes!

3. Reorganize your books.

Stack them in a spiral, or organize them by color.

4. Pay attention to the full experience of walking. 

Take a moment to focus on the sensations, the small and large movements you make while walking, how objects seem to move past you, the temperature, the wind, etc.

5.  Pay attention to the full experience of breathing.

The sounds, sensations, smells, etc. (this is a great way to get into a deep meditative state.)

6. Change up your routine.

Drive a different way to work, reverse the order in which you get ready in the morning, and eat something new for breakfast. Change up your routine anytime you can.

7. Play the A-Z game.

As you walk in an urban area (NOT while you are driving, please), try to spot all the letters of the alphabet, in order, as you walk. This works with numbers too; set an arbitrary number and count them in order (either backwards or forwards).

8. Periodically stop and smile.

Become aware of the immediate physiological response in your body. Feels great, doesn’t it?

9. Whenever you catch yourself doing something out of habit, STOP.

Start over and do it a different way. Even if it’s a destructive habit, go ahead and indulge but be VERY mindful of the process. You can choose how to make the action different — pour your drink with the opposite hand. And, if it’s a destructive habit, become aware of the urge; become aware of the actions you are taking and the physiological response to the habit.

10. Take a deep breath.

While you hold it, notice and name 5 things you can see, feel, hear.

Whenever something becomes habit, you stop being aware of it or mindful of it. In a sense this is good because otherwise your mind would become overwhelmed instantly if you were to try to stir your soup and have a conversation at the same time. Challenge yourself! Take our 7 Day De-Stress Challenge for FREE!