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5 Fun Mindfulness Exercises for Dull Days

Undisturbed

“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”
~ Pema Chödrön

As a student I had a string of part-time jobs. By far the most mind-numbing was working at the huge Primark store on London’s Oxford Street. I would often spend my whole seven-hour shift folding shirt after shirt into a neat pile only to have a customer come along and tear one from the bottom, sending it toppling over.

But it did hold a lesson for me: involvement, not distraction, is the key. Rather than seeing these little exercises as an escape, look at them as a means of becoming more absorbed, for however fleeting a moment, in your work, your environment or yourself.

They’re quick, easy and fun to do!

Breathe Slowly for 60 Seconds

Try breathing deeply and slowly for sixty seconds. Use this timer if you need to.

Lengthen each inhalation and exhalation by a count of five, so that you’re averaging about five breaths per minute. This is called the “Resonant breathing rate,” a pace which engages the parasympathetic nervous optimally for most people.

Breathing in, two, three, four, five.
Breathing out, two, three, four, five.

If you find yourself getting a little breathless, start by counting up from three or four. Slow, deep breathing has been shown to have a variety of positive health benefits.

Try the “Stop!” Exercise

G.I. Gurdjieff would use this exercise on his students. As they went about their daily activities he would sometimes walk by them and shout, “Stop!” The student then had to freeze instantly for as long as Gurdjieff wished. Sometimes it lasted for hours.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing now, just stop and hold that position. If you’re typing, freeze with your hands on the keyboard. If you’re drinking a cup of tea, freeze with your hand halfway towards your mouth. Be fully aware of yourself.

Notice Something New in Your Environment

Consciously look for something that you have never noticed before. Keep looking until you find one thing, however long it takes. It doesn’t necessarily have to be visual, it could be a sound or even a smell.

Do a Quick Bodyscan

This is a great one, especially for releasing any tensions or aches.

Bring your attention to your feet
Let them relax and loosen

Bring your attention to your shins and calves
Let them relax and loosen

Bring your attention to your thighs
Let them relax and loosen

Bring your attention to your buttocks
Let them relax and loosen buttocks

Bring your attention to your abdomen
Let it relax and loosen

Bring your attention to your chest
Let it relax and loosen

Bring your attention to your arms
Let them relax and loosen

Bring your attention to your hands
Let them relax and loosen

Bring your attention to your head
Let your mouth, cheeks, nose, eyelids relax and loosen

Rest for a few moments in full-body awareness.

You’ll feel revitalized.

Go For A Walk

“Walk as if your feet are kissing the ground.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

If you can be somewhere you won’t be disturbed for a few moments, try a walking meditation.

Simply focus on the sensation of your foot as it lifts from the ground, as your leg moves forward, as your heel touches the ground, as your weight shifts, as your second foot rises and so on.

References

Images: Handmade Brooms

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