Stay Present: 5 mindfulness exercises to keep you grounded

by Danica Tiu

Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in our lives. It lets us understand how our mind works and allows us to be more intentional with our actions, thoughts, and words. 

The brain is like any other muscle in your body. If you wanted to grow your bicep, you'd go to the gym and do sets of bicep curls. Mindfulness practice, like meditation, is an exercise for the brain.

When many people think of meditation, they have this idea that you have to clear your mind of all thoughts, but that’s not necessarily true. Try to use meditation as a way to be more aware of the thoughts moving through your mind

5 Daily Mindfulness Practices

1. Meditation

2. 4-7-8 Breathing

Breathe in for four seconds, hold the breath for seven seconds, and then exhale for eight seconds.

3. Take Five

The “Take Five” exercise was actually designed for kids, but it’s so simple and effective that everyone can benefit from it, regardless of age.

4. Shifting your mindset from a “What if” to a “What is.”

When you find yourself caught up in the “What if” mindset and it's not serving your best interests, try to shift your “what if” to a “what is” mindset. 

5. Listen to understand, rather than listen to respond.

Oftentimes, when we're listening to someone's story in conversation, our mind is already thinking about what we're going to say before the person is even finished saying the thing that we're trying to respond to. One of the greatest gifts you can give to someone is giving them your full attention and listening to them with awareness, compassion, and curiosity. 

Just remember, mindfulness isn’t a skill you can develop overnight. You need to practice consistently to reap the benefits. Make a commitment to yourself and stick to it and you’ll see the benefits in no time.