Mindfulness or mindfulnessIt is one of the most useful tools for achieving emotional balance and improving people’s focus and well-being.
Its effectiveness has been scientifically proven and there is growing evidence that its use helps regulate emotions, reduce stress and anxiety, sleep better, and encourage creativity. In addition, mindfulness is also rewarding for people in perfect health and without psychological disorders, who simply want to live their life to the fullest.
This ancient practice allows us to be in the present moment. It is a coping style that stimulates personal strengths and that it helps to be more aware of the immediate experience with a non-judgmental attitude of openness and acceptance. Mindfulness helps self-regulate behavior and promotes self-awareness, as well as the creation of an ideal environment for well-being.
Mindfulness activities for better emotional balance
But more than a set of techniques for being in the present moment, mindfulness it’s a philosophy of life, an attitude to adopt to reconnect with oneself and be more aware of the reality around us. It takes practice and willpower, so it is necessary to perform a series of activities to improve the ability to be here and now with a non-judgmental and compassionate state of mind.
There are many exercises for this purpose. Below are a number of Mindfulness activities for children and adults.
Activities for children
Children can also engage in the practice of mindfulness. In this way, they develop this habit which will help them to know themselves better and relate better to the environment, so that they can be happier in the future.
1. The breathing of bees
Bee breathing, or Bhramari Pranayama, is a simple but very effective exercise focus attention on the breath and free the mind from restlessness, frustration, anxiety and let go of anger. As its practice is not very complex, it is possible to do it anywhere and even at an early age. It consists of covering your ears, closing your eyes, and when you breathe out the air you have to pronounce the letter “m” until the end of the breath.
It is certainly an easy exercise to practice, however it is necessary to learn diaphragmatic breathing to be able to breathe out longer. The exercise can be done as many times as you like, but it is advisable to start with a few repetitions and increase them gradually. The sound resulting from this action is similar to the buzzing of a bee, which is why this activity is called “Bee Breathing”.
2. The art of playing
To do this exercise, you need to put the children in pairs. One of them receives an object (a pen, a toy, a stone, a ball, etc.) and is asked to close his eyes. The child who has the object is described to his partner.
After a minute or two, the same process is done, but this time it is the other partner who is responsible for the description of the object. Despite the simplicity of this activity, it is ideal for teaching little ones who can isolate their senses and, if they wish, they can focus their attention on different experiences.
3. Watch out for the bell
This exercise has two parts. The first is to ring a bell and have the children hear the vibration of its sound. The little ones should listen carefully and raise their hands when they no longer feel the vibration of the sound. Then they should be silent for a minute and pay attention to other sounds that are heard after the bell stops ringing.
When the sound ends, children should be encouraged to share their experiences and say what they have heard during this time. This activity works mindfulness and mindfulness, and it helps to connect with the here and now.
4. Become a frog
Children can learn to practice Mindfulness if they become a frog for a few minutes. Frogs are a clear example of what mindfulness is. Just like when people meditate, frogs stay still for a long period of time. They rarely tremble, but remain still, watching and breathing calmly, and their bellies move remarkably with each inhale and exhale. By assuming the role of this amphibian, children they learn to stand still, to breathe in a controlled manner and to what goes on around him without flinching.
… And for the adults
Adults can practice Mindfulness in their daily lives virtually anywhere, and at all times it is good to focus on the present moment, adopt a non-judgmental mindset, and treat yourself with compassion.
5. Five senses exercise
This exercise is simple and it can be applied quickly in almost any situation. All it takes is being aware of our senses and experiencing each of them separately. To perform this activity, just follow this command:
- observe 5 things you can see. Look around and choose something you wouldn’t normally notice, such as a shadow or a small crack in the ground.
- observe four things you can hear. Become aware of four things you are feeling in the moment, such as the texture of your pants, the feeling of the breeze on your skin, or the smooth surface of the table where you put your hands.
- observe three things you can hear and focus on the sounds around you. For example, a bird, noise from the refrigerator, or traffic noise from a nearby road.
- observe two things you can feel. Pay attention to smells that you usually ignore and see if they are pleasant or unpleasant. The smell of pine trees nearby, of the beach if you live on the coast or of a fast food restaurant near you.
- observe the taste of your mouth. Focus on the taste of the present moment. You can take a sip of a drink you have on hand, chew gum, eat something, and even notice the taste in your mouth without ingesting anything.
It’s an easy-to-practice exercise that can quickly get you to the here and now. How much time you spend with each sense is up to you, but each object of attention should last a minute or two. the idea it is not a question of doing a meditation, but of returning to the present with an improved state of consciousness.
6. Active listening: non-verbal language is observed
This activity is ideal for developing active listening skills, which is a form of communication that it requires an effort on the part of our cognitive and empathic capacities, When the recipient is not a mere recipient of the sender’s words. Many times we think we hear when we actually hear.
Active listening is not about feeling the other person, but about being totally focused on the message the other person is trying to communicate. It is being here and now in full awareness. We focus not only on the sender’s words, but also on what they are trying to convey through non-verbal language.
To perform this exercise it is necessary to put in pairs. One member has two minutes to share a pleasant life experience or an opinion on a recent event, while the other actively listens. What do their looks, postures or gestures say? Does he look proud when he explains it? Does it convey passion? The receiver has two minutes to carefully observe his partner’s non-verbal communication. When the exercise is over, they both share their experiences as active listeners.
7. Mindful food
With the pace of life we have today, it is common that we do not stop for a moment to connect with ourselves, not even when we have a few minutes to eat, because either we put on the TV , or we turn to us to do it this afternoon. Well, it is possible to practice mindfulness while eating or having breakfast. Puh to do the conscious eating exerciseYou just need to give your full attention to what you are going to eat.
You can start by focusing on what you are holding. Observe the feel of what you have in your hands (for example, a toast or a fork). Once you are aware of the texture, weight, color, etc., focus your attention on the smell. To finish, take the food in your mouth, but do it slowly and mindfully. Notice the taste or texture as it dissolves in your mouth. This activity can help you discover new experiences with foods that you eat frequently.
8. Pay attention to the center of the image
To carry out this activity you must see the audiovisual content presented below:
The goal of this exercise is simple: to focus attention on the point displayed in the center of the image despite the color change pattern surrounding it, which can distract or provoke unwanted thoughts. It is an ideal exercise to begin in the practice of mindfulness and to start to become aware of the thoughts that come to my mind and which we sometimes ignore.
The purpose of this exercise is not to get lost in these thoughts, which can be very pronounced in people prone to anxiety. This experience is similar to the phenomenon of silent fixation that results from looking at a candle flame.
To learn more about mindfulness
Anything related to mindfulness is very interesting because of the potential that closes this set of simple habits to apply to everyday life, but it is also true that it is not easy to explain what it is. is as an activity and what are the mechanisms by which it improves our quality of life.
Fortunately, several experts in the field have developed training workshops to make this subject more accessible. The M-PBI Mindfulness training program.
This training program, which you can take in several Spanish cities, works with the theoretical and practical aspects of this discipline, and teaches how to apply them in different contexts, based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) of the Massachusetts Clinic and the Integrated Mindfulness Expert Practice-Based Short Training (M-PBI) program.