What is mini mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of consciously bringing your attention to what you are experiencing in the present moment, without judgement. Mini mindfulness is doing just that, but for no longer than a minute at a time. The emphasis is on doing it at least 5 – 6 times a day so that you develop the habit of regularly checking in with yourself, rather than going through the day on auto-pilot.
How can mini mindfulness help me?
The simple act of bringing your attention to your breathing is enough to ground you in the present and interrupt whatever chatter is going on in your head. This can help with breaking the stress cycle and bring your attention to what you are doing or feeling in the moment, free of distractions and judgement. While this may not sound like much if you do it regularly it can help the body to relax, lower blood pressure, and reduce pain, stress and anxiety. Many of us hold tension in the body without being aware of it, which can result in aches and pains and lower energy levels.
How to practice mini mindfulness
- Bring your attention to your posture. It does not matter whether you are sitting or standing, just straighten up so that your back is erect yet relaxed. This brings you into your body. Notice if you are tense, feeling any discomfort or other sensations.
- Observe any thoughts you may be having, acknowledge them without judging them as positive or negative. Just see them as mental activity that is happening in this moment.
- Take in your environment; note the noise levels, the activities going on around you, whether it is bright or dark and if it feels friendly or hostile.
- Now bring your attention to your breath. Observe the air entering your nostrils as you inhale, follow your breath down into your chest, feel it expand into your belly and feel your whole body breathing as you exhale.
- Notice if there is any tightness in your face, neck, shoulders or back. Gently breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 5 and then exhale for 6 and engage your whole body, but with a softness that allows you to let go of tension.
- Repeat for 4 to 6 breaths. Then continue with whatever you were doing.
- Body: Posture, notice any tension or other sensations.
- Mind: Acknowledge your thoughts without judging them.
- Environment: Observe your surroundings.
- Breathe: 4 – 6 deep breaths.
Yes, mini mindfulness is that easy. Try it for one week. You will likely be amazed by the difference this simple practice can make to your day.
Mindfulness practice: returning