You don’t need to sit still and fidget through a lengthy meditation session to feel calm and at ease!
These 1 minute mindfulness exercises will surely bring you calm and peace when needed.
The best thing is, you can do these anytime, anywhere – in fact, pretty much all mindfulness practices can be done that way.
Mindfulness is all about getting you into the present moment. Away from the hurried thoughts and stress you may face daily.
The key to mindfulness is putting all your focus on the one thing happening now but not making it mean anything.
You focus on sensations and experiences rather than fictional things. It’s all about tuning into what’s real right now for you – in the physical world, that is.
Read on to discover 1 minute mindfulness exercises yourself.
1 minute mindfulness exercises
Simple mindfulness exercises
I want to explain that sitting for a full meditation session is unnecessary if that’s not your thing.
What calms you down may not be the practice of relaxation as the masses know it, right?! So don’t beat yourself up, but instead, try something different.
I know I struggle with the ‘meditating on a cushion’ thing.
So instead, I practise short bursts of mindfulness throughout my day to keep me present, calm and centred.
1-minute mindfulness exercises are my current go-to. I love them, and dip in and out of all these exercises I’ll explain below at leisure.
Food is a great way to start doing 1 minute mindfulness exercises.
I’ll bet any money you gobble down your meals without taking the time to enjoy them or notice what you’re eating.
The mind wanders frequently, and many of us eat on the fly, rushing, doing multiple things at once, so it’s no wonder food becomes a by-thought.
So, when you have time to slow down (say on the weekends?), try being mindful when eating.
From the first bite, set the intention to eat mindfully. Meaning you’ll take your time and savour every chomp.
A mindful minute of eating takes no time in the grand scheme of things, but your meal is much more enjoyable.
You get to taste the food! You experience what you’re eating so much more.
For this practice, notice the food you eat – how it looks on your plate, the colours, textures and shapes.
Then as you put the food in your mouth, get curious about the taste, texture and form of the food. Chew slowly to tune into the experience and the sensation of eating.
You can also practice mindful observation of others when they eat too. (This is super fun, I find!)
Obviously, you don’t want to make people feel uncomfortable by staring at them, but you could explain to your other half what you’re doing and that you’re simply practising mindfulness.
Another way to practice 1 minute mindfulness exercises is to change your environment!
My all-time favourite sensory experience is walking on damp grass, barefoot.
And all this takes is going into a garden or park. This activity has a natural calming effect and is incredibly grounding, bringing a sense of heightened awareness and cognition.
It feels comforting to have yourself rooted to the ground.
I do this exercise to clear my mental space; it takes little effort but the results are enormous.
Similarly, walking barefoot on the sand at the beach is another excellent way to practice 1 minute mindfulness.
For that tiny 1 minute, focus all your attention on the sensation of your feet on the sand.
The texture, temperature and perhaps some discomfort if you tread on a rock or stick?
Notice it and acknowledge it.
Do this the exact same way with damp grass (or dry if it’s summer!) and you’ll be experiencing the full array of physical sensations, thus bringing you into the present moment.
It’s a simple exercise that works!
Another incredible way to tune into the present moment is by listening with greater depth and focus.
A great exercise is to sit in a straight-backed chair, close your eyes and simply listen.
Take deep breaths and focus your mind on the noises (or lack of!) that you hear. You could try focusing on the furthest away sound to you or the closest sound.
This is an excellent practice for a hectic life – which we all suffer from at times.
I even do this when my kids are being noisy – a great technique to practice taking a breath before reacting – helping avoid being triggered as a parent.
As with other 1 minute mindfulness exercises, the challenge is to focus all your attention on the sensation or experience you’re having right now, at that moment.
The feelings in your body or the emotions you go through.
What you’ll find with mindfulness is that you don’t have to react. You don’t have to be at the mercy of your automatic response – you can simply be aware of it but not judge it.
You may have heard about the body scan meditation before.
If so – I discovered a simplified version, which is just to ask yourself what you’re feeling inside your body. You can do that for 1 minute, no problem!
You could spend 1 minute focusing on areas of tension or pain. Or even discomfort or tingles.
Again, as with every mindfulness practice, the goal is to focus your attention, not to get rid of the pain per se – though, funny thing; Often when you focus on discomfort, it miraculously goes away (does in me, anyhow.)
Another powerful mindfulness practice is to focus on your emotional health.
You could go deep with this, focusing on limiting beliefs or fears you may have. Or what mindset you take on certain things.
Remember not to judge yourself or make yourself wrong here – it’s all about tuning into the ‘what is, right now’ and that’s all.
Do you exercise? If so, how often are you present to the exercise you’re doing?
The practice of mindfulness is very simple in theory. It’s being with what is happening in the moment without judgement.
Simple, pure awareness.
In this busy world, it may feel like you can’t be mindful of your everyday movement.
Like you don’t have the time or patience! I’m talking about easy motions here though – such as driving the car or walking the kids to school.
It’s an excellent opportunity to practice mindfulness for a minute, as you’re in the ‘doing’ rather than the ‘thinking’.
Meaning it’s easier to focus on sensations and experiences.
The important thing to know with mindful movement is you can do it with anything. You could get up from your sofa right now and do some stretches, and focus all your attention on what you feel.
That is being mindful! Or why not fake yawn and see what sensation you focus on?
There is an unlimited amount of experiences that you can be mindful of – it’s all about making a choice to do so and following through on it.
Mindfulness brings beauty to everyday life. Deep breathing, the bus stop, body feels, you name it – you can be mindful of it!
Our nervous system may be going crazy with anxiety or stress, yet if you choose to be mindful of those sensations in the moment they arise, you’ll find the sensations don’t last as long (nor are they as scary as you once thought.)
Mindfulness techniques take time to develop though – they don’t call it a practice for no reason.
Try and bring in mindfulness to your daily routine.
First thing when you wake up, take a deep breath and feel it. Focus on the sensations in your body or the noises around you.
Mindful moments like that make time stretch out and add so much more depth to life!
At the end of the day, why not choose to do a kindness meditation about yourself?
What went well for you today? What did you do well? How did you handle any challenges you faced?
Say some kind of affirmations and end the day on a high, simply by choosing to. It only takes that one-minute meditation to change your outlook on things entirely.
If you enjoyed reading this post today and you learnt something new, please leave a comment and let me know.
Also, check out these mindfulness reads, which will give you even more teachings on the mindfulness topic.