Short Mindfulness Exercises Can Help You
When building a mindfulness practice, your exercises can be as long or as short as you need them to be. It’s your commitment and consistency that will help your mindfulness practice over time. Short mindfulness exercises can work for beginners, individuals with busy schedules or someone like myself who doesn’t believe that your mindfulness needs to take a long time to be effective.
Practicing regularly is key. Your body will start to send out signals based on the work that you do. This works positively and negatively, if you put the work in you will see results. As time goes by, you may notice experiencing more happiness, motivation and focus with your mindfulness practice. A mindfulness coach may reflect to you the changes observed during session before you have even taken notice!
If you lag on your mindfulness exercises, adverse symptoms may start to creep up again. Just like with a physical exercise program, if you haven’t stretched in a while, you will notice tightness in your muscles. Say you started mindfulness to help regulate distracting thoughts. Over time you may notice a decrease in these intrusive thoughts. Now that you have less intrusive thoughts, is it a good time to stop your mindfulness practice due to a busy work schedule or family life? No. I recommend you continue your practice, as you may begin to re-experience the same symptoms you had before your practice. That’s when short mindfulness exercises are helpful, it keeps you going when you feel you otherwise “should stop” or “don’t have time”. Short mindfulness exercises can be effective and help you engage regularly in your practice which is really what is key to strengthening this skill.
Steps Towards Making Short Mindfulness Exercises Effective
In this article, I am focusing on using mantras as the method towards achieving a short and effective mindfulness exercise. I believe mantras are direct and can bring out what is needed in little time. We all have emotions that are more comfortable or less comfortable that motivate us to take an action. You have decided to do a short mindfulness exercise to relieve __________ (keep this in mind). Below, I have included some general mantras here for you to use. As time goes by, you will develop your own mantras that you can use as a short mindfulness exercise, or I can help you develop one.
All you need to do is find one that resonates with you. And use it to guide your breath and attention. While stating the mantra, try not to judge yourself or the statement that you are saying. Accept the mantra and allow it to carry you and center you where you need to be for the next few minutes. Repeat the words over and over again for 3 to 10 minutes, refocusing on the words. Don’t get lost in the interpretation or intention during this exercise. After the exercise you can reflect on your experience. When you reflect you will refer back to what you feel you were needing to help relieve initially.
Mantras to Try
1.) This situation/feeling is temporary.
2.) No decision is a decision
3.) In the past I have survived
4.) I know
5.) I will be OK
Reviewing the Steps
1.) Set your intention. I want to do a short exercise to help me:
2.) Choose a mantra that clicks with you.
3.) Repeat the mantra for 3-10 minutes without judgement. Focusing on your words. Use your breath to push them out. In through the nose and out the mouth.
4.) Revisit the intention. What was your experience with the mantra?
Taking time to reflect after your mindfulness exercises helps to close up the session. You can choose a few words to describe how you feel. You may notice your flow of thoughts to be slower, and you may already feel some ease. If mantras wasn’t your thing, you can try a walking meditation or meditating with sound. Both can be short mindfulness exercises. If you liked working with the mantra, and want to expand your practice then look at this guide for getting started.