Here are 6 short mindfulness exercises you can incorporate into your day if you’re not keen on formal meditation or don’t feel like you have time for a full hour each day.
Two mindful bites
Instead of attempting to do mindful eating all the time, try mindful eating for the first two bites of any meal or snack. For the first two bites of any meal or snack you eat, pay attention to the sensory experiences – the texture, taste, smell, and appearance of the food, and the sounds when you bite into your food. You’re paying attention to your sensory experience in an experiential rather than evaluative way.
What three breaths feel like
Instead of formal meditation, try paying attention to what three breaths feel like. Feel the sensations of the breath flowing into and out from your body. Notice the sensations in your nostrils, your shoulders, your rib cage, your belly etc.
Take a mindful moment to give your brain a break
Instead of checking social media between meetings or clients, spend a minute watching out of your window. Watch the leaves fluttering on the big trees or look up at the sky and the clouds moving across the sky. Use mindfulness to give your brain a break rather than filling up every tiny space in your day by automatically reaching to check your phone.
Air on exposed skin
Pay attention to the feeling of air on your skin for 10-60 seconds. Why? You’re practicing being in experiential processing mode (as opposed to evaluative “judging” mode, which is our default).
Scan your body
Scan your body from top to toe for any sensations of discomfort or tension. Attempt to soften to the sensations of discomfort. Next, scan your body for any sensations of comfort or ease.