4 Fun Ways to Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is one of the most calming states of mind one can achieve. Practicing mindfulness is a skill that anyone can develop.
While the possibility of mindfulness may sound boring, impossible of too tough to practice, there are several fun ways to connect with the state of mindfulness.
Simply stated, mindfulness is being aware of the present in a non-judgemental and accepting manner. When you are aware of what is happening around you, it is easier to detach yourself from the whirlpool of happenings that might pull a person into drama or emotional turmoil.
Being mindful all the time might be a humongous task, usually not achievable by beginners. But if some time is spent in being even imperfectly mindful, it will add quality to your state of being. And eventually, you can evolve as a master of mindfulness.
Here are five fun exercises to connect you with the state of mindful awareness or mindfulness.
1. Drawing Circles slowly keenly observing the process.
Mindfulness can be achieved with the deep awareness of repetitive activities.
Take a sheet of paper of flip to the back page of your notebook. Grab a pen or pencil and start drawing circles. Try to make them as perfect as possible. The size of the circle may be the one you are comfortable with- neither too big nor too small and, this will depend on the size of your hands.
Fill the whole page with circles. While drawing, feel how the tip of your pen or pencil glides through the surface of the paper. Is it gliding easily? Or is it flowing without control? Do you feel the texture of the paper? What other sensations do you register?
Draw circles with optimum slowness. Keep the pace slow and peaceful.
If you like, you can also fill the circles with some colors. Or, you may keep it as it is.
Do this continuously for at least five minutes and look at the page full of circles you just created. You will probably feel a strange sensation of peace.
2.Practicing 5 minutes of Blind Contour Drawing
Blind contour drawing is a drawing exercise done by art students to improve eye-hand coordination. The interesting part is, this exercise requires our minds to stop the incessant chatter and focus on the now. If you drift away to into your web of thoughts you cannot do a blind contour drawing.
Here is how to do it.
Take a sheet of paper and a pencil. Fix the paper on a writing surface like a cardboard, so that it won’t move. Select a subject for drawing. Many people use their hands. Some use leaves, flowers or any object with textures and curves.
Next, start drawing the object without looking at the paper. Follow the curves and lines of your subject with your eyes, simultaneously making the appropriate mark in the paper.
Do this for a while, or till you finish it fully.
If you look at the paper, you will see many strange marks along with impeccably accurate markings of your subject. If you keep doing this daily, it will calm you and connect you with the mindful state of mind. And, yes, your eye-hand coordination will improve.
3.Spending some quality time pampering your body with Abhyanga snana.
Abhyanga snana, or ayurvedic oil bath, is a superb way to connect with your body. It will soothe you and you will feel awake and alive to the moment. Abhyanga purifies your body and refreshes the whole mind-body balance. The soothing given to the body will reach your mind, calming you from anxious and nagging thoughts.
Massage your whole body with a medicated oil that is appropriate for your body type. You might want an ayurvedic- physician to recommend it for you. Then, scrub the whole body, softly, with natural scrubbers such as green gram powder or peanut powder. You may also use ayurvedic soap to wash away the oil.
Feel every moment of the massage and scrubbing. Feel the water, washing away all the negativity and toxins from your body and mind. The water may be warm or cold, according to your preference.
4.Observe your surroundings and write down what you observe
This is an activity to ground you in the present time and space. Often our mind wanders off to memories hopes or fantasies. And it is a beautiful experience to wander with the mind.
But to get things done in the real world, we need to be in touch with it.
Observing the surroundings and writing down all the details you observe is an excellent exercise to make yourself keenly aware of the present you are in. You might be in a bus or a garden, or in your office. This exercise will help you to anchor your awareness to the present moments that are passing by.
In the timeline of your life, the present moment is the space you exist. Being aware of the present moment will give you an opportunity to respond to life in a more authentic manner.
Start practicing mindfulness a little bit at a time and you will start noting the growth in the depth of even the tiniest things in life.