Mindfulness and relaxation exercises

The following mindfulness exercises will help you sharpen your observation and augment your cognizance. They will help you kick away the tension of the day and relax your body and mind. Select those that suit you best and perform them a few times a day.

Self-awareness painting

1. ⏳ Mindfulness exercises: Simple meditations

I. Sit in a comfortable position, simply with your eyes closed for 5’. If there are any external sounds, just focus on them without doing anything else. If no external sounds are present, just focus on your breath. When you master this 5 minutes exercise, you can go for 10 minutes or even longer.

II. In the same fashion as above, sit comfortably, close your eyes and just notice your mind wandering. Try not to be critical, just observant. When a thought visits, try not to pay much attention. Just let it go. Again, start with only a couple of minutes and gradually increase it to 10, 15 or even more.

2. 🧘🏽‍♀️ Relaxation exercises: Stretching of muscles

I. Bend and touch your toes with your fingers. Stay in this posture for at least 30 seconds. In case you find it difficult, just bend a little and touch your knees.

Repeat after a few minutes. Was it a bit easier this time?

Repeat again. Try to stay there for a full minute. Do you see how your flexibility is improved after some consecutive attempts?

II. Stretch any of the muscles in your body for 1-2 minutes. Then, think how you felt before and after.

3. 👀 Self-awareness exercises: Observation

I. Scan your body from head to toes for a couple of minutes. Try to identify points of interest like:

  • Pain
  • Tension
  • Relaxation

II. While you drive your car, feel your weight on the seat and the pressure of your hands on the steering wheel. Observe the position of your hands and legs.

III. Consciously observe the texture of the objects you touch with your hands. Check for:

  • Hardness
  • Temperature
  • Moisture
  • Smell

IV. Observe the world around you. Look for hidden details. In objects, people, buildings or vehicles. Look up at the sky. Observe the coloring tones of the clouds. Avoid labelling, just observe colors, patterns and textures.

4. 🪂 An awareness exercise that will bring you to the present moment!

Do this exercise whenever you catch your mind wandering to the past or the future. It will quickly bring you back in here and now!

  1. Identify 5 things you can see
  2. Identify 4 things you can hear
  3. Find 3 things you can feel
  4. Identify 2 things you can smell
  5. Identify 1 thing you can taste

Repeat it anytime you would like to feel more present, more focused and more aware!

If you are interested in modern art, check the Active Paintings concept, paintings which change their colours offering an alternative way of relaxing and emptying the mind.

Increase your self-awareness by playing the games described in: Mindfulness and awareness sharpening games