We are creating a series of one minute films showing a range of ways you can be mindful. The aim is also to show how there are things you can do in spare moments throughout the day. Although they are called mindful minutes if you enjoy the exercises you can do them for a longer period of time. Some people like to set a timer for a certain period.
Mindfulness means being aware in a balanced way of our different senses. In paying attention to our different senses, we try to take a gentle and non-judgmental attitude. Rather than putting pressure on ourselves to do an exercise perfectly or achieve a certain mind state we try to be open and curious and appreciative of what we do notice.
We can use these exercises as grounding tools. Ways to feel more centred when we are feeling stressed or pulled in different directions. Sometimes mindful exercises can make us feel calmer. Sometimes however mindfulness can make us aware of something that feels unpleasant. We might realise we are very tired or tense, or that a part of us is in pain.
We have fund some people prefer mindfulness exercises that involve movement. For people who find focusing on the breath difficult mindful movement exercises might be worth trying first. If you have a lot of thoughts when sitting very still it may be too challenging doing certain exercises, which is absolutely okay. Some people find doing some more vigorous exercise before doing a gentle exercise can be helpful.
Please listen to your own inner wisdom when you are practising these exercises. If you find some of them helpful we recommend building up the time you practice them slowly. There is not a right way to practice mindfulness. Its fine to adapt the exercises to your preference.
Mindful practices can be supported by practicing them with other people. For example, on courses or in groups.
Reading about it can also be helpful. For example, Rufus has found books by Jon Kabat Zinn, Thich Nhat Hanh supportive. There are mindfulness apps that you pay for (such as Headspace, Smiling Mind and Calm). There are also some free mindfulness websites we have listed two below
www.freemindfuness.org free mindfulness exercises and more useful links
www.palousemindfulness.com free online 8 week mindfulness based stress reduction course