Are you new to mindfulness? Have you been interested in integrating stress-relieving techniques into your life? Perhaps you’ve been too busy to set aside time to do so.
No matter where you sit on the mindfulness spectrum, this is a list for you. These subtle mindfulness techniques can be done anywhere—on public transport, while you’re waiting for your lunch order, at your desk…you name it.
Breath awareness. You’ve heard of this one—it’s likely the most mentioned mindfulness techniques. And yes, it’s worth mentioning again! We breathe all day long, but we are rarely conscious of it.
Feel the effect of air as it enters your body. This might be at the nostrils, in your chest as your lungs fill, or in your abdomen as it expands.
Where you stand. This is a great one to practice when you are waiting in a line or at a bus stop. The moment you shift your focus to your feet planted on the ground, you can’t help but become fully present. See how long you can maintain your attention there.
Awareness without labelling. This deceivingly simple technique gets easier with practice. Find an object to look at—e.g. a pen, your water bottle, anything will work. See if you can observe the qualities of that object without naming or describing it in your head. This is a practice of visual perception, without our usual running commentary.
In conversation. So many of us are guilty of not remaining present in conversations. Often, something the other person says might trigger a memory or a thought process that sends us spinning out of the present moment.
Notice when you start feeling distracted or, perhaps, even impatient. Gently come back to the person and the conversation each time without judgement.
A beaded bracelet. Beaded bracelets and necklaces are well-recognised meditation tools. Bracelets of neutral colours work for both men and women and can offer easy access to moments of mindfulness.
Hold the bracelet in your hands and rotate it through your fingers one bead at a time. As you hold each bead, think about something or someone for which you are grateful.
Use your senses. Be mindful of experiencing your environment through your five senses, alternating through each, every few minutes.
Pay attention to what you see and how light reflects off surfaces creating colour, highlights and shadows. What noises do you hear? Feel the sensation of touching surfaces. Do you smell anything? Can you taste anything?
The practice of compassion. Compassion creates connection. Begin this practice by feeling compassion for yourself. Stir up feelings of self-love as you mentally acknowledge your wonderful qualities and abilities.
Now, extend these feelings of compassion to those around you. This may be to people near you or in your environment. Or, if you are alone, visualise people in your life. Notice—whether it’s with strangers or people you know—your similarities more than your differences.
Enjoy the present moment—that’s where your life happens!