5 Easy and Quick Mindfulness Tips for Busy People
By Rippan Sandhu
There are many of ways in which you can practice mindfulness. After all, there are a large number of ways in which you can anchor yourself to any given moment.
It’s easier said than done, but there’s a reason that slowing your breath calms you down. When people are stressed, they tend to take sharp, short breaths. Our nervous systems are wired so that inhalation is linked to the stress response and exhalation to the relaxation response. Taking a short inhale and emphasizing a long exhale helps prevent stress.
2. A Five-Minute Meditation
For beginners - sit down, close your eyes, and focus on something like your breath, an image, or a word —“OM” is a popular choice, and simply allow your mind to drift, returning to your focus when you need to.
3. Simply walk barefoot on grass
Harness the Feet-Mind Connection Stress exists for a reason: it notifies your body that you’re in a stressful situation. Still, stress has physical symptoms—it can make your heart race, and it also pulls the blood out of your toes and fingers and sends it to your internal organs. So as a calming practice, walk bare-feet on green grass to feel instantly grounded and calm. Simple yet effective!
4. ‘Stretch like a Cat’/ Marjariasana
This is a playful progressive muscle relaxation techinique followed for years in Ayurveda that works well for everyone! This works best to become present to physical sensations in your body.
1. Come onto your fours. Form a table such that your back forms the table top and your hands and feet form the legs of the table
2. Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor, with the hands directly under the shoulders and flat on the ground; your knees are hip-width apart.
3. Look straight ahead.
4. As you inhale, raise your chin and tilt your head back, push your navel downwards and raise your tailbone. Compress your buttocks. Do you feel a slight tingle here?
5. Hold the Cat pose and take long, deep breaths.
6. Follow this by a countermovement: As you exhale, drop your chin to your chest and arch your back up as much as you can; relax the buttocks.
7. Hold this pose for a few seconds before you return to the initial table-like stage.
8. Continue five or six rounds before you come out of this yoga posture.
9. Tip from the Art of Living Yoga expert:
When you do the movement slowly and gracefully, its effect is more powerful and meditative.
5. “Put your Glass Down”
Here is an interesting story –
A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience.
As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they would be asked the “half empty or half full” question.
Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired “How heavy is this glass of water?”
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz. She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter".
It depends on how long I hold it.
If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed.
"In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”
She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”
It is important to remember to let go of your stresses, upsets and anything that does not feel good to you as early as you can. Put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them throughout your day or even an hour or more than the few moments it takes to notice that you are feeling in a way you don’t want.
Remember to put the glass down!