Being Mindful - Top 5 Techniques

The pace of modern day living can be relentless, frantic and somewhat overwhelming for many of us. Often we struggle to maintain a balanced life and the outcomes can be stress, anxiety and exhaustion. So what can we do to break the cycle.

One way we can support our wellbeing is to take a few minutes each day to cultivate a mental stop gap. Try these 5 powerful mindfulness techniques that can easily be incorporated into your daily life to help you regain control, focus and enjoy life again.

Technique 1:

5 senses meditation - This exercise is helpful for centering you during crazy times. The goal is to notice something that you are currently experiencing through each of your senses.

  • What are 5 things you can see? Notice things you would not normally notice.
  • What are 4 things you can feel? Your feet touching the ground?  The temperature around you?
  • What are 3 things you can hear? Notice all the background sounds you had been filtering out, such as air-conditioning, birds chirping, or cars on a distant street.
  • What are 2 things you can smell? Flowers, coffee, or freshly cut grass
  • What is 1 thing you can taste?  Sip a drink, eat a snack or simply notice how your mouth tastes. “Taste” the air to see how it feels on your tongue.

Technique 2:

The 10 finger gratitude technique - This exercise reminds us of the things we can be thankful for in life. 

To do this simply bring to mind 10 things you are grateful for and count them out on your fingers. It is important to get to 10 and not stop out 3 or 4. 

Technique 3:

The RAIN technique - If you are feeling intense and difficult emotions use the acronym RAIN.

  1. R Recognise what is happening.

  2. A Allow life to be just as it is.

  3. I investigate inner experience.

  4. N Non-Identification with what is going on.

Technique 4:

The pause button technique - Pick something that you can use as a trigger or reminder for your pause practice. It could be an alarm sound on your phone or computer or it could be a visual sign. Make the decision every time you hear or see the reminder to pause and stop what you are doing. Notice in the here and now what is happening for you then take a deep mindful breath and resume your day.

Technique 5:

Changing chair technique - We are creatures of habit. We do not like change, but change can bring new perspectives to what’s going on. Become aware of your tendency to always sit in the same spot in a café, gym class or at work in a meeting. Make a deliberate choice to try another chair. We tend to try an autopilot, therefore interrupting that tendency means we need to become more mindful of the environment around us.

Be aware of any resistance or thoughts around this practice and any change of perspective.   

These mindfulness exercises will allow us to break the tendency to be trapped by thoughts and emotions by helping train the mind to focus and be present in the here and now. Pick one and try it for a week, see how you go.

Author: Written by Robert McGivern - Life and mental skills coach at Coaching With Impact.