1. Yawn and Stretch for 10 seconds every hour of the day.
Do a fake yawn if you have to and that will trigger real ones and say “ahh” as you exhale.
Notice how a yawn interrupts your thoughts and feelings. This brings you into the present.
Then stretch really, really slowly for at least 10 seconds.
Just notice any tightness and say ‘ease” or just say hello to that place (being mindful – noticing without judgment). Take another 20 seconds to notice and then get back to what you were doing.
2. 3 hugs, 3 big breaths exercise.
Hug someone, really hug them and take 3 big breaths together, even if they don’t breath with you, your breathing will ground them
3. Index finger of one hand stroking fingers of other hand and swap.
Lower or close your eyes and take the index finger of your right hand and slowly move it up and down on the outside of your fingers like you are drawing your fingers. Once you have mindfully stroked your left hand swap and let you left hand stroke your right hand fingers.
4. Mindfully eating a raisin
Take a raisin (or a piece of chocolate) and mindfully eat it. Follow the 4 S’s. Slow down, sense it, savour and smile between bites. Purposefully slow down. Use all your senses to see it, touch it, smell it, sense it and then gently pop it into your mouth and really savour it. Savour its texture, its taste, how it feels in your mouth, bite into it and experience the taste sensation. Let it linger and then Swallow. After you have swallowed just let you lips turn up slightly and do a little smile. If you were to have another raisin (or a bite) do the same thing.
5. Clench fist and breath into your fingers
Fingers and thumbs facing down. Now clench your fist tightly. Turn your hand over so fingers and thumb are facing up and breath into your fist. Let the breath, breathe into that fist/hand. Notice what happens.
S – Stand up and breath – feel your connection to the earth
T – Tune in – to your body, lower your gaze and scan your body and notice physical sensations or emotions. Discharge any unpleasant sensations or emotions/feeling on the out breath. Any pleasant ones, notice them and let them fill you up on the in breath (or bring them in on the in breath eg say ‘Please show me body what “all OK” feels like’
O – Observe – lift your eyes and take in your surroundings. Observe something in your environment that is pleasant and be grateful for it and its beauty
P – Possibility – Ask yourself what is possible or what is new or what is a forward step. Pause for about 30 seconds before you answer and let your “inside place” respond.
7. If you find yourself being reactive try the following steps
Pause and take 1 to 3 big breaths
Say ‘step back’ ( You don’t have to physically step back you can just do it in your mind)
Say ‘clear head’
Say ‘calm body’
Say relax or melt or ease
8. Mindful breathing for 1 minute
Lower your eyes and notice where you feel your breath. That might be the air going in and out at your nostrils or the rise and fall of your chest or stomach. If you can’t feel anything place your hand on your tummy and notice how your hand gently rises and falls with your breath. If you like you can just lengthen the in breath and the out breath or just breathe naturally. Your body knows how to breathe. Just focus on your breath and when your mind wanders, as it will do, just bring your attention back to your breath. You might like to say ‘thinking’ when you notice your thoughts and just gently shepherd your attention back to your breath. This of course can be done for longer than 1 minute. However even for 1 minute it will allow you to just pause and be in the moment. Or you might just like to say ‘breath out stress’ (on the out breath) and ‘breath in peace’ (on the in breath)
9. Loving kindness meditation
For 1 minute just say over and over again ‘May I be happy, may I be well, may I be filled with kindness and peace’. ‘May you be happy, may you be well, may you be filled with kindness and peace’. You can be thinking of someone you know and like or you can just be sending love to all people.
10. An aspiration
Decide on an aspiration. Just ask yourself this question: What is my heart’s aspiration? Just pause for about 20 seconds and then do this a second or third time and write down what comes. Perhaps it is to come from love, or to be kind to yourself or others or to be patient. Once you decide which aspiration you like best say that at the beginning of the day. For example: ‘Today I will come from love’. This will set you up for your day and your interactions with others (and even with yourself). Regularly change your aspiration or intention for the day. Your mind and body loves novelty.
Mindfulness helps us to respond and not react.
Pausing in the ways outlined above is very powerful. Try some or all of these and see which ones you like.
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
Viktor E. Frankl