5 Ways to Practice Mindfulness (in 10 Minutes or Less!)
Take mindfulness breaks throughout your day.
In my previous post, I talked about how mindfulness practices can help support your fertility journey. Mindfulness can have a major impact on how we manage stress in our lives and I recommend it for all my clients.
This week I’m sharing some of my favorite ways to practice mindfulness that you can do in 10 minutes or less.
First let’s talk about the goal of mindfulness practices–what are we really trying to achieve?
We’re hoping to find a few moments to slow down, refocus on our surroundings, and be in the present moment. Not rehashing a conversation from earlier or what you’re going to do later, but truly being in the present moment.
It can be harder that it seems to maintain this, but the goal isn’t perfection–it’s a practice. We’re looking for small moments to just refocus, give our minds a break, and be conscious of the here and now. (And one thing mindfulness doesn’t involve is our phones!)
So here are 5 of my favorite ways to practice mindfulness:
1. Take 10 deep breaths
At any point in your day, you can pause and take 10 deep breaths. Bring your hands to your belly, and on your inhale, feel your ribs expand, and your belly expand. Exhale completely as slowly as you can. Do this 10 times, focusing completely on taking full inhales and exhales.
I know, it’s easy to get intimidated by the idea of meditation. But it’s really just sitting in stillness. Our minds do wander, and our goal is just to bring them back when they do. Being still with ourselves can be hard, but it also allows us to witness our own thought patterns, and become more self-aware throughout our days. Set a timer for 10 minutes and just sit, bringing your mind back to your breath when it wanders off. (If you still feel intimidated, try listening to guided meditations–they’re a great way to start a practice. I have a series of guided meditations here.)
3. Find Gratitude
This is another one you can do as a pause anytime in your day. Simply stop what you’re doing, close your eyes, and think of 5 things you really appreciate in this moment. They key is to FEEL the appreciation. So don’t think of 5 things you “should” feel grateful for—what do you really feel in this moment? If it’’s hot, you might feel grateful for fans or air conditioning. Maybe a beautiful sunrise you witnessed earlier, or a kind word from a co-worker. They can be small things, but just thinking of moments we’re grateful for brings us into a more mindful state of being.
Journaling is one of my favorite practices because it can help us bring more awareness to how we’re feeling and what’s really going on in our lives. Set a timer for 10 minutes and just start with the prompt “how am I feeling today?” Do a free-write, don’t censor yourself, just keep writing. You can veer off topic, or head in a totally different direction. The goal is just to let anything on your mind out and onto the paper. It can feel really freeing to get all that stuff out, and can often clear up space in our minds as well.
5. Take a mindful walk
Find a few minutes to get outside–you could go to the park, take a quick loop around the block, or even do a lap around your office building. Leave your phone off so there are no distractions, and as you walk tune into your senses. What do you see? Hear? Smell? Just observe. When we deeply pay attention, we can often be surprised by how much we never noticed before.
These are some of my favorite ways to recenter and refocus in the middle of my day. You can do any of then in only 10 minutes, but feel free to take more time if you’d like. Whatever you do, try to incorporate 1-2 of these into your daily routine to help you manage stress and overwhelm.
That’s why mindfulness practices, and understanding the mind-body connection are a whole module in my Flourish Fertility online course. Module 4 is all about mind-body alignment and we dive into how to cultivate supportive routines, manage your emotions, and create a clear vision that anchors us throughout our process.
Do you have a favorite way to practice mindfulness? Share in the comments below!
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