Below is a list of Exercises and Practices to Start at Home
Cultivate Self-Awareness and Mindfulness
“Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong, good or bad “ — Debbie Ford.
Take a quiet moment and pay attention to your emotions. Are you feeling happy, angry, or sad? Are your emotions reflected in or caused by the state of your body? Pay attention to your shoulders and neck; Can you relax them? As you relax, take a few deep breaths and consider what might be causing your stress, anxiety, tension, or negative thoughts. Reflect on your recent interactions, then bring your attention back to the present moment. Think about your toes and how they feel right now. Move your awareness slowly up your body, including your knees, abdomen, forearms, face, and cheek. Take a deep breath and resume your day.
Practice Breathing Techniques
“For breath is life; if you breathe well, you will live long on the earth.” — Sanskrit proverb
Breath is vital and causes a feedback loop for our physical state. Breathing can be voluntary or involuntary, which means we can affect our physical state. Conscious breathing and breathing in a particular way can lead to deep relaxation, decreased pain, and improved mental state.
Sit or lie comfortably. Put one hand on your abdomen, just under your rib cage, and one on your upper chest. Feel yourself breathing. Take a deep breath, inhaling to a count of four, and feel your abdomen rise. Your upper hand should move very little while your abdomen will lift your lower hand. Imagine feeling warmth as your breath moves through your mouth, down your throat, into your lungs, and toward your abdomen.
Hold your breath for a count of four. Exhale slowly through your nose for a count of four. Repeat this exercise, being sure to keep your abdomen rising and your chest relatively still. Aim to practice this exercise for at least 5 minutes at first.
Reflect on how you feel after practicing conscious breathing.
“The breath is the only way to connect us to the Now. If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath. “ — Amit Ray
Practicing Mindfulness Every Day
“Be where you are – otherwise, you will miss your life. “ –Buddha
Start Your Day Mindfully – Set an Intention and check in before you take off. Check in throughout the day to take stock of your intention.
Start each day recognizing something you feel gratitude for. End the day doing the same thing.
Try to be mindful of performing simple tasks. Act like you are performing the task for the first or last time. Notice everything you can about the task.
Eat mindfully. Eat slower Honor the elements and those who played a role in your meal. Simply enjoy. Try something new. Start a meal from scratch. Only monotask during your meal – never multitask while you eat. Use all your senses to experience the meal.
Come to your senses. Connect with your senses when you are sitting quietly. Choose 3 senses and concentrate on these senses as you experience the moment.
Declutter your life and create breathing room. Try “letting go” of things you are holding on to from the past. Ask yourself why you are holding on to this object. Does this object bring you joy? If not, let go of it. We do not lose any part of who we are if we let go of mere objects.
The Power of Compassion. Practice compassion for yourself, then your family members, then your friends, the others, and finally, your enemies.