Mindfulness training for every day – 4 favourite exercises
Mindfulness is more than just a passing trend. Besides meditation, there are simple mindfulness exercises that can be easily built into your day. Our Vivit experts share their favourites.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is not just a passing trend, but helps us to be more focused and relaxed. Mindfulness means focusing your attention on the moment – on the here and now – with an accepting and open attitude and without judging. The nice thing is: practising mindfulness isn't difficult, but can be learned and trained by everyone and can be easily integrated into your daily routine.
Mindfulness for every day
When was the last time you had a cup of tea or coffee without thinking about anything else or doing it alongside some other activity? Rarely do we devote our attention to the present moment and to what we are doing or what is happening. Rather, we tend to do several things at once and are quickly distracted by our thoughts.
Mindfulness for stress management
The effects of mindfulness haven't escaped the attention of science either. More and more studies show that mindfulness lowers stress levels, improves mental health, boosts the body’s immune system and has a positive effect on cognitive flexibility and working memory.
4 mindfulness exercises from our experts
Mindfulness exercises and relaxation can easily be integrated into your daily routine. Our Vivit experts present their favourite mindfulness exercises.
Exercise 1: expand your morning routine
Expert Christina Hunkeler: "I get up shortly before my family to have a moment for myself and try to integrate mindfulness into my day, alongside my meditation practice, as simply as possible. This works best if I set my intention on two everyday activities in my morning routine.”
Mindful coffee drinking
As soon as I go to the coffee machine I focus on my breath, so as not to allow any thoughts to surface yet. Then I concentrate on "making coffee" and the conscious enjoyment of the coffee (taste, aroma, ingredients, etc.).
A mindful shower
I focus all my senses on the showering experience – for example the pleasant feeling of water on my skin or the beautiful scent of the shower gel – and don't give my thoughts much space. I hold on to this peace of mind and mindful attitude and apply it over and over again throughout my day.
Mindfulness exercise 2: walking & breathing
Expert Anne Bode: "I synchronise my steps and breaths when I feel the need, or on specific routes such as from the station to work. Walking and breathing consciously helps me to better control my thoughts about work. It stops me from thinking ahead in the morning about what I have to do today and, in the evening, it helps me leave my thoughts about work behind. You can also do this during work to give your thoughts a break – on the way to the printer, to the next meeting, or even over lunch on a walk.”
Synchronise steps and breathing
In this exercise, I synchronise my steps with my breathing. For example: I inhale for three steps and then exhale over the next six steps. The important thing is that you exhale approximately twice as long as you inhale. The best thing about this exercise is that it doesn’t take any extra time and you literally give yourself a breather.
Exercise 3: lunchtime walk
Expert Karin Kreiliger: "Once or twice a week I use my lunch break for a short walk around the neighbourhood. I’ve made it a habit to not take my bag or mobile phone with me and not to listen to music either. Instead, I deliberately choose a slightly different route each time.”
Use your lunch break for mindfulness
For me, the nicest thing on these walks is when I turn my attention outwards and become aware of what is happening around me: other people, streets, cars or even nature. With nowhere in particular to go and nothing to carry, these walks through the neighbourhood are simply good for airing my head - especially on days when I work from home.
Exercise 4: a mindful start to the day
Expert Selina Züst: "Stress in the morning is toxic for a mindful start to the day. That’s why I always take enough time and set my alarm clock a little earlier. This way I can experience the morning more consciously and mindfully.”
Before I do anything, I just lie stretched out in bed and breathe in and out deeply, two to three times.
Be aware of your body
During the breathing exercise, pay conscious attention to your body. Focus on individual parts of the body. How does your neck feel this morning? Back? Arms? Legs? Then stretch and relax for about one minute and enjoy the quiet moment in bed.
Get up calmly and start the day mindfully
Get up and enjoy a cup of coffee before the day dawns and work begins.