The world is full of doing, doing, and doing. It’s important to take a moment to just breathe and just be there.
Mindfulness has become increasingly popular, many people have begun their mindfulness journey in recent years, and there are plenty of good reasons why.
Researchers have discovered many benefits for mental health, physical health, and overall well-being by practicing mindfulness regularly.
In this article, I have listed some 5 minutes mindfulness exercises that you can practice anywhere at anytime unnoticed by others.
I regularly use these mindfulness techniques, and it’s a part of my routine.
These mindfulness exercises will help you declutter unwanted thoughts and emotions and give you quick refreshment like a quick nap.
Before we begin, let’s understand
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the ability of human beings to be in a present moment without making any judgments or reactions to events happening around them, whereby they are aware of and accepts their thoughts, emotions, and sensations by simply let them come and go.
Here are eight 5 minutes mindfulness exercises that anyone can practice.
5 Minutes Mindfulness exercises
#1 Mindful breathing
This is a famous and most effective mindfulness practice wherein you have to pay attention to your breathing process. You can be aware of natural inhalation and exhalation process, or you can take deep breaths with counting numbers, both work well.
When you focus on your breath or practice control breathing, naturally, your mind gets to settle down and make you free from thoughts and emotions. The energy which dissipated vainly now gets concentrated as a life force and makes you feel relax and calm.
That’s why, before starting any meditation, control breathing or mindful breathing is suggested to do.
You can practice this exercise anytime from early morning to late night with your eyes opened or closed.
Initially, practice mindful breathing with closed eyes, then over time, it will become obvious that you can do it with open eyes.
Steps to exercise mindful breathing:
- Go to a silent place or cover your ears with earplugs or headphone
- Set a timer of 5-10 minutes or more
- Close your eyes
- Slowly take 5-6 deep breaths (you can also include counting from 3 to 1 while inhaling and exhaling)
- Now continue with this control breathing exercise, or you can just be aware of the natural breathing process
It’s a simple yet very powerful technique to tame your mind wandering from here to there. This exercise could provide many benefits to your body and mind.
#2 Feel subtle sensations (Mindful sensing)
There are many sensations happening in our body, from gross to subtle, but due to our unawareness, we can feel only gross sensations like pain, inflammation, tingling, itching, etc.
When you pay close attention to your body, you may feel fine sensations (vibrations). Be mindful of these sensations with the eyes closed.
This exercise may seem difficult at first sight, but with few days of practice, you will find the tune.
This requires keen focus and a longer attention span, so, over time, with this practice, you will develop the ability to concentrate more for an extended period.
In Buddhist meditation technique called vipassana meditation had presented this mindfulness sensing practice, but slightly in a different way.
In beginning, to exercise this mindful sensing, you require a quiet environment or a place where you can cut off the external disturbances with the help of an earplug or headphone.
Steps to practice mindful sensing
- Go to a silent place or cut off all distractions by putting an earplug
- Set a timer of 5-10 minutes
- Close your eyes
- Slowly take 5-6 deep breaths
- Then move your attention to different parts of the body and notice the sensations (Ex. Direct your attention from face, neck, right hand, left hand, chest, stomach, legs to foots)
It looks simple, but when you practice this, your mind may wander away every few seconds. But keep doing without being frustrated. Many benefits are waiting for you if you master this mindful sensing exercise.
#3 Mindful Music Listening
We used to listen to music and feel energetic and (any) emotional after tuning in, but this exercise is slightly different than normal music listening.
The difference is when you listen to music, don’t mess up with the artist or its meaning or don’t start singing. Rather just listen to music and pay close attention to fine background music or notice something unusual about music.
The purpose of the exercise is to become mindful with the help of music, so don’t produce any reactions of craving or aversion.
Follow these steps to practice mindful music listening
- Plug earphone or headphone
- Play your favorite music
- Then with the closed or opened eyes, mindfully listen to music
You can listen to rain forest sounds, birds singing music, ocean wave sounds or any other nature sounds which make you relaxed.
#4 Mindful Walking (with or without barefoot)
Average Americans walk 3000-4000 steps in a day, roughly 1.5-2 miles a day.
When you walk, notice that you are full of so many thoughts which jumping from past to future and future to past.
This overthinking becomes a habit, and it’s not limited to walking, but in every activity, it causes distraction, stress, and anxiety.
As a mindful person, you should overcome this compulsive behavior and use it in a constructive way.
Practice mindfulness walk by paying attention to the movement of feet, legs, hands, etc. Feels the sensation or tension on these parts as the feet came in contact with the ground. Notice the synchronic movement of your legs and hands and direct your attention to different parts of the body.
It’s a simple mindfulness exercise that you can practice anywhere while walking in the house, street, using the steps, or on the morning walk. If possible, you should walk barefoot in the garden or at any other safe place, walking barefoot will benefit you in many ways.
#5 Mindful eating or drinking
As we discussed earlier, we are unconscious while eating and drinking. We are often busy in thoughts, in imaginations, with the phone, or in taking if someone is sitting next to you while eating.
If you want to develop mindfulness, then you have to leave these multitasking habits. And have to build a habit of doing one thing at a time. It will also help you to increase concentration, attention span, and contentment from work.
So whenever you eat, pay full attention to your food, stay conscious while chewing, notice the jaw movement and secretion of saliva.
When you drink water, juice, or coffee, be conscious of every sip and wrap up your attention just to it.
Spare at least one meal a day to practice mindfulness, keep all distractions away and just focus on eating.
#6 Reverse counting
I have learned this technique from Silva Mind Control Methods, in which he suggested to count reverse from 100-1 or 50-1 to reach your alpha meditative state, where your mind becomes more receptive to adapt ideas.
You can use this method as a mindfulness exercise. Also, it’s an effective method to declutter your mind.
Steps to practice:
- Sit in a steady position and close your eyes
- Take few deep breaths
- Now imagine a board where numbers will be put
- Visualize the number 50
- Then count reverse 49, 48, 47 to 1
Now, you are at the alpha state, which is better than the normal beta state. Scientists associate the alpha state with a subjective sense of imagination, creativity, memory, and intuition.
After reaching your alpha level, you should practice following the autosuggestion technique.
#7 Positive Self-talking Or Autosuggestion
It’s a powerful exercise to deceive your mind to dig gold out of it. Consciously talking to yourself with positive affirmations is called Autosuggestion.
Positive self-talking help to break bad behavior and wrong thinking pattern and constructively redirect them for positive change. With this exercise, you can restructure your mindset, thought process, and behavior in such a way that it assists you in achieving your desired goals.
Autosuggestion is the solution to every problem. It makes you master of yourself.
Make a list of affirmations alliance with self-improvement statements, and recite them for 5-10 minutes—mix visualization and emotions in self-talking, which easily influences your subconscious mind.
Here are some famous affirmations which you can include in your list.
- Every day, in every way, I am getting better, better, and better.
- I believe in myself and my abilities to succeed
- I have the power to create the life I desire
- I am becoming the best version of myself
- I am focused, persistent, and will never quit
With the closed eyes, mindfully repeat these affirmations, add visualization and emotions in them.
You can first practice reverse counting to reach your alpha state to become more receptive to these affirmations, then mindfully start self-talking.
#8 Mindful Observation
When you see a beautiful natural scene, you become speechless or have no words to describe it, so you just stare at it and observe it with delight.
Similarly, in this last 5 minutes mindfulness exercise, you have to do the same. Although you can practice it anywhere, It would be great to try it in an open area.
In mindful observation, you have to consciously observe things or events near you, without involving your judgments or interpretations. Pay close attention to one thing try to notice small bits.
If any thought comes to mind, simply ignore it and get back to mindful observation.
You will be amazed and familiar with fine details which you were ignoring till now. Your mind will become relaxed and peaceful after doing so.
Suppose you are in the garden for an instant, sat on the bench, and mindfully observing the trees, plants, birds, people moving from here to there, and playing kids. Listening to the sound of them and feel the wind touching your skin.
Now narrow down and observe one tree, notice its leaves, flowers, branches, and trunk. Notice their colors, shapes, diversity, etc., without making judgments. Just watch these small detail which you have been missing so far.
Those were the eight mindfulness exercises that you can practice for 5 minutes or more. Once give a try to each of them and then stick with at least one.
Related Post: Attitudes Of Mindfulness by Jone Kabat Zinn
It may seem not easy, or you may not find interest at first, but stay with regular practice, and soon mindfulness will become entertaining for you.
In the end, I emphasize you practice these mindfulness techniques on a regular basis. Otherwise, it’s useless.
Many people misinterpreted the practice of mindfulness. They understand mindfulness as a separate activity, but in reality it’s not a separate act from a regular task.
You can integrate mindfulness with your daily tasks. It’s just about paying attention and doing things consciously without any judgments.