You don’t need to leave your home, your work desk, or even your bed to try out these simple mindfulness practices that you can do from the comfort of your home.
Practicing mindfulness is vital when it comes to maintaining your physical and mental well-being. It can help ease agitation from stress and anxiety and boost productivity – much needed when working from home. While seeking help from counsellors is one of the most effective ways to overcome mental hurdles, shifting your focus and behaviour in the littlest ways can be beneficial in the long run. Here are five simple mindfulness practices to do at home.
Five mindfulness practices to do at home
1. Five Senses Mindfulness Exercise
This exercise may also be referred to as grounding and it does wonders when you’re experiencing a panic attack. The gist of it is simple but also heightens your senses and lets you get back on your feet in just a couple minutes (no tools needed). You become one with your surroundings and it’s almost as if you can feel the gravitational pull stronger.
Start off by playing a little game of I Spy with a slight twist.
- Bring your attention to five things you can see – better if it’s something you don’t typically notice. Have a look at the textures, colours, and shapes
- Notice four things that you can feel, and sense the texture
- Keep your ears peeled for three things you can hear, even the faint of sounds
- What are two things you can smell? Both pleasant and unpleasant.
- Focus on one thing that you can taste right now, at this moment – be it water, juice, tea, or just simply the taste lingering in your mouth from something you ate earlier
2. 4-7-8 breathing exercise
Time and time again we are told that breathing exercises are key. Well, the word doesn’t go around for nothing! So what’s with the numbers you ask? To get in the zone, focus on your breathing.
- Breathe in through your nose for four seconds
- Hold your breath for seven seconds
- Exhale through your mouth for eight seconds
- Repeat this cycle four times and then breathe normally
While doing this exercise, make sure you’re in a quiet space, and closing your eyes makes a huge difference. Shift all your focus on your lungs, feel it getting filled up with air and feel how your stomach loosens up and you exhale. Putting one hand on your chest helps too.
3. Get colouring!
If you loved colouring as a kid, believe us, you’ll love it even more as an adult. Let loose and let your inner perfectionist relax a lil. Don’t panic if you colour outside the lines, though of course it’s super satisfying when everything is smoothly done. You can grab a colouring book in stationery stores, download colouring apps (personally we love Pigment), or grab some printables online (they’re free!)
You can look through our guide on creative classes for some ideas.
4. Eat and only eat
Hands up if you’re always prowling shows to watch when munching your delish lunch! Don’t be afraid of silence, embrace it. Go somewhere quiet and have your meal. Here’s what you need to do.
- Grab a plate and lay out your food
- Take a moment to look at what’s on your plate and all the colours (hopefully you’re getting some in your diet!)
- Now go in a little close and smell the food (you’ll probably be salivating by now)
- Don’t gobble down your food! Eat slowly, chew properly, and then swallow
- This improves your gut health and your mental health!
5. Raisin’ your attention span
Alright so this may sound a little peculiar for you to sit and observe a raisin but this is one of the most beginner-friendly mindfulness practices. You could switch to another food or snack as long as it has an interesting texture, smell, and taste (works best that way). So go on and grab your object of interest (or disinterest even) and pretend you’ve never seen it before.
Unplug everything else and focus on how this food looks, take your time to examine the texture, size, and colour(s). Then think about how it feels when you’re holding it and brushing it with your fingers, how your skin responds to its touch. Slowly bring it close to your nose and smell it (unless you’re holding a durian then you can smell it from a mile away!) Finally, taste the food and focus on how your body reacts to it. Listen close if it has a crunchy sound to it.
The takeaway: All of these mindfulness practices bring you to focus on the present as more often than not, we may dwell in either the past or future possibilities. Staying in the present lets you become more aware of your surroundings, body, and mind and lets you become more efficient and productive.