What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a mind and body based training that helps people to change the way they think and feel about experiences, especially those that are particularly stressful.
It is recommended as a complementary treatment for some people with mental health problems including stress, anxiety, and depression.
Exercises include techniques such as meditation, breathing, and yoga to focus the mind on the present moment.
Training helps people to become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and body sensations so that instead of being overwhelmed by them. This in turn help people to manage extreme emotions.
We looked though some of the resources available to us all to access mindfulness and thought these 3 exercises where fun to use whilst being effective.
1. Pixel Thoughts (game)
With it’s soothing music and easy interface, this simple interactive game allows us to all take time out in our day whether at home, work or school to focus on the here and now and tackle a problem that might be holding us back.
2. The Free Mindfulness Project (audio downloads)
We found a huge library of guided meditation exercises at The Free Mindfulness Project. You can choose from a 3 minutes breathing exercise to a 40 minute body scan, making meditation fit in with your busy life.
The key to this project was working in collaboration with so many people who wished to share these resources, making the audio files free to download.
3. Headspace (app)
There are many apps to choose from that provide mindfulness exercises to you on your mobile devices (see The Independent’s top 10 mindfulness app review).
One app we (and Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame) would like to highlight is Headspace. It has calm, pastel colours graphics and likeable characters taking you through your Headspace Journey – a set of ten exercises to be completed over 10 days.
The added bonus to this app is the ability to gain encouragement from friends and family by inviting them to start their own mindfulness journey. At a time when it may be difficult to talk the Headspace platform lets you engage socially.