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Mindful tips & exercises

“Control what you can control”.

In this stressful world it is more important than ever to take steps to manage our mental health. There are quick exercises that bring our attention back to the here and now. When we do this we shift our focus and allow oursleves some space, and this can provide clarity and a reduction in our feelings of stress, when regularly practiced.

1. Finger breathing (see – Brewer, 2020): Using the index finger of one hand you will trace the outline of your other hand. To start, inhale slowly while tracing up the outside of your thumb and exhale slowly while tracing down the inside of your thumb. Repeat with your forefinger, middle finger, ring finger and little finger. and then make your way back from your little finger to your thumb again. Focusing on our breathing like this is a quick and easy way of moving from distressing thoughts/feelings to our senses.

2. Notice your senses: this is another helpful mindfulness exercise to help us notice what we are experiencing right now. Beginning with one of your senses (taste, smell, hearing, touch and vision) focus on what you are actually experiencing. What am I hearing? What am I smelling? What am I seeing? What can I feel on my skin/where I am sitting/standing? What can I taste? Name what you are hearing, smelling, seeing, feeling and tasting. Take your time doing this exercise – try to register three answers for each sense. You can’t do this exercise without being mindful.

These exercises can be done anywhere and it useful to link them to a reminder such as: brushing our teeth, everytime we make a cup of tea, everytime we use the bathroom, etc.

3. Gratitude journal: keeping a note of what we are grateful for in our lives helps us to focus on the positive and overtime has been shown to have a positive impact on us. Benefits include:

  • Greater connection to others
  • Elevates mood
  • Improves Sleep
  • Exercising more regularly
  • Lowering symptoms of physical pain
  • Changes your perspective
  • Increases your optimism

Consider this… what are you grateful for? Sense where you feel that gratitude. Each evening write down 3 examples of what you are grateful for in that day. Write down the situation that you are grateful for in detail.¬† Try not to rush this exercise, really visualise what you are grateful for and why it matters to you.

Practicing all of these exercises will strengthen your positive intelligence muscles and if you persist you will feel the benefit.

If you would like to enquire about mental health and wellbeing coaching, its benefits and costs etc. please do get in touch. Email or 0879197744.

Listen back to interviews with Sue Nunn on KCLR about coaching and mental health and wellbeing: