In commemoration of Mindfulness Day (12 September), we’ve cobbled together our favourite mindfulness techniques so far — from classics like the Pomodoro Rule to unique mindfulness tools used by professionals like Arianna Huffington.
Let’s revisit mindfulness
Mindfulness could mean something different to different people. To you, it could be a way of finding peace in an uncertain world. To others, it could be a tool to boost physical health by lowering stress and anxiety. This Mindfulness Day, take a step back to reflect on your mindfulness journey. Consider these questions.
- How long have you been practising mindfulness?
- What have you gained from your mindfulness journey thus far? And more importantly, what have you learnt about yourself through this process?
- How can you improve your relationship with mindfulness? What element is missing to your current journey?
Whether you’re a newbie or seasoned professional, reflecting on your mindfulness journey could help you learn so much about yourself. It not only forces you to appreciate your past, but also encourages you to move in the right direction in the future.
New techniques for you to use this Mindfulness Day
#1 Mindful eating
While mindfulness techniques like yoga and meditation are now more popular than ever, tools like mindful eating are falling in the dust. Mindful eating is an underrated way for you to pursue a calmer, more aware state of being. Here’s how it works.
- Start with a simple food item like a biscuit, fruit or nut.
- Consider how the item looks. How does it feel? What does it smell like or taste like?
Expand the depth of your questions as time goes by. Practise this daily and you’ll find yourself being more conscious and present in small daily routines like during meal times.
#2 Body scan meditation
Let’s get to the elephant in the room: meditation. Chances are if you’re interested in mindfulness, you’ve already given meditation a shot. However, there are hundreds of meditation types out there for you to explore. While you may have a particular meditation routine you’re comfortable with, you should expand your horizons and try at least one new technique each year. This could help you engage all aspects of your mind, body and wellness.
Body scan meditation, in particular, is an under-appreciated meditation form that you might not be familiar with. Here’s how you can practise it as a beginner.
- Lie on your back or sit in a comfortable chair.
- Focus on your breathing. Don’t try to control it — rather, just focus on being aware of it.
- Next up, bring your focus to your body. How does it feel pressed against the chair or floor? How do your clothes feel today?
- Following this, visualise your body from head to toe. Imagine that there’s a scanner travelling from your head to your toes. Slowly scan through your body and feel this subtle movement from top to bottom.
- Repeat step 4 three times, each time moving systematically from head to toe.
#3 The 3-minute breathing space
Most breathing exercises we’ve explored this year involve lengthy techniques. That’s why we’re taking a look at the other end of the spectrum today, with the 3-minute breathing space.
This exercise will make use of a Timeqube — a mindful timer that changes color with the passing of time. Set your Timeqube to 3 minutes. It will now be a light, gentle green color. During this time, reflect on your day and how it’s made you feel. As your Timeqube transitions to a mild yellow, quieten your thoughts and focus on your breathing. Lastly, as your Timeqube starts transitioning to a pale red, expand your awareness and consider how your breathing has affected your body.
This exercise, with the help of a Timeqube, will ultimately help you be more calm and aware of your current state of being.
At the end of the day, mindfulness is all about learning to love and explore yourself. Happy Mindfulness Day and we hope you’ll use these new techniques to elevate your mindfulness experience!