These 3 Mindfulness Exercises Take Less Than 10 Minutes

Even thirty seconds will help.

19/10/2016 3:36 PM AEDT | Updated 20/10/2016 10:00 AM AEDT
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You don't need to sit cross legged to do it.

In our time-poor lives, even getting the washing out and arriving at work on time can be a stretch.

However, even though we are flat out, the practice of mindfulness is well and truly seeping into our daily lives -- at home and in the office.

And we are all aware of its benefits. Not only does consistent practice help to alleviate symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression, science has proven meditation is tied to changes in the physiology of the brain.

But fitting it into our busy lives is another story.

Even short meditations can reap the same benefits -- from focusing your mind in on what you are doing in the present moment through to the physical management of stress and anxiety.

The key to engaging with mindfulness is to start out small and simple.

"Even short meditations can reap the same benefits -- from focusing your mind in on what you are doing in the present moment through to the physical management of stress and anxiety," Dr Addie Wootten, CEO of web and app-based meditation program Smiling Mind, told the Huffington Post Australia.

"Ideally, we would be encouraging people to sit down and practice a meditation for more than 15 minutes. But what we're finding is that people are too busy to pencil in that chuck of time."

So, instead, we've compiled a list of super quick, easy exercises to slip into your daily routine.

1 MINUTE: Senses Check

Sit down and move yourself into a comfortable position. "This helps us to pay attention to whether we are hunching over our desks, for example, or sitting at a funny angle," Wootten said.

Sit up straight, close your eyes and take a breath.

Focus in on your senses (or a particular sense). "This is a powerful way of bringing your attention to what is around you. Often offices are busy and you'll hear lots of noises around you, but paying attention to them in a mindful way allows you to become aware of those sounds but not react to them."

Bring your attention to your body and how it is feeling.

Now, return to your breath.

According to Wootten, this is the perfect way to start any meditation. "Or, if you only have 30 seconds or one minute, that's all you do and that's a great way to check in with yourself."

5 MINUTES: Body Scan

A body scan meditation can be a useful one for five minutes (or more).

"The process of checking in on how each part of the body feels helps you connect to the present moment, as well as being aware of any tension," Wootten said.

Sit up straight (or lie down, if where you are permits).

Close your eyes and take a few breaths.

Start from the top of the head and scan through each part of the body, down to your toes. Take note of any bodily sensations as you move through.

"Again, more time is ideal, but if you only have five minutes, that is good enough!"

10 MINUTES: Mindful Movement

This one is simple -- and can be infused into any daily practice.

"You can even go for a walk mindfully," Wootten said.

"The aim is to use what you are doing to keep your attention focused on the present."

Get up.

Go for a stretch, walk or run. Pay attention to how your body feels and what is around you.

"If you are walking outside, what is the weather like? What can you smell in the air? These are all important cues."

"If you are stretching on a mat, how does the mat feel?"

Reaping the benefits

Consistency is key.

"We know that practising meditation has an accumulative impact. So, the more your practice, the more you benefit."

This may be all good and well, but I'm busy, remember?

Wootten recommends using triggers or regular activities as daily cues. "This can even be seeing something as you walk through the office. When you notice it, you are reminded to at least think about where your mind is."

Believe us, even a mindful walk to fetch your coffee fix will make a difference.

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