Lewis Franielczyk
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Mindfulness Exercises

5 Quick and Easy Exercises to Slow Down Time and Relax Your Mind


Mindful Breathing

This can be done either standing up or sitting down, anywhere, and any time. Wherever, whenever and however feels most comfortable to you, as that is what is important.

All you have to make sure of is that you are still and focus on your breath, starting for just one minute.

Start by breathing in and out slowly with one breath cycle lasting approximately six seconds. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, letting your breath flow effortlessly in and out of your body. Let go of your thoughts. Let go of all the things you have to do later today, or things that require your attention and stress. It is important to remain present. Let your thoughts rise and fall of their own accord. Just focus on your breath. Focusing on its pathway as it enters your body. Watch with awareness as it works its way up and out of your mouth. If after one minute of this, you find that it is enjoyable, relaxing or beneficial then why not try two or three minutes at a time?

Mindful Observation

A personal favourite of mine ... It is very simple, but incredibly powerful as it helps you notice and appreciate the simplest elements of your environment (something I have always been guilty of neglecting). In today’s day and age, we are always so focused on the next goal, the next path, and our future, that the presence slips by unappreciated. It is important to realise that yes, the future deserves your attention, but the present is your life, that is happening … Right now!

So, choose a natural object that you can easily see. I usually tend to focus on one single leaf on a tree. But it could be anything, a flower, clouds, the moon, etc. Don’t do anything else other than focus on and notice the thing that you are looking at. Relax in to watching it for as long as your concentration will allow you, as if you are looking at it for the first time ever.

Mindful Awareness

This is designed to cultivate a heightened awareness and a deeper appreciation for simple daily tasks. Think of something that happens multiple times, daily, that you take for granted. Like a kettle boiling, a door opening, a shower, brushing your teeth. As the moment is happening, stop and be mindful of where you are and how you feel in that moment. Appreciate all the things that go in to making these functions possible—your hands, your mind, for example. Find your touch point, something that will happen today, and use it to remind yourself to become aware in that moment, and slow down time, which will allow you a much deeper appreciation for life.

Mindful Listening

Put a set of headphones on, and close your eyes after putting on a piece of music that you have never heard before. It does not have to be any specific genre, tempo, or mood. Try not to get drawn in too quickly passing judgement on the music by its genre or artist. Instead, cast aside all labels and neutrally allow yourself to become lost in the journey of the sound for however long it lasts. Explore all the aspects of the music, even if you do not appreciate the music. Pull apart each instrument and sound, and focus on them individually.

The idea of this is not to think, but to hear.

Mindful Appreciation

Simply, make note of five or so things in your day that go unappreciated. Either mentally or physically write them down. These could be electricity that allows you to watch TV, the internet that allows you to connect, the clothes that give you warmth, etc.

Mindful Immersion

The intention here is to stop the rushing and striving that we experience daily.

When carrying out an everyday task, rather than wishing the time away, try and fully experience it like you never have before. It could be doing the dishes, brushing your teeth, or being pulled in to a conversation that you aren’t really interested in. Rather than rushing and viewing these as chores, try and create a brand new experience by focusing your attention on the very details of the task. Feel every motion, hear every word. The idea here is to discover a new experience within something that is a routine task. Rather than labouring through and wanting the task to be over with. Become aware of all the details.

– Lewis.

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