People talk a lot about physical fitness, they see and compliment a 60-year-old who is still going strong in terms of physical fitness, and they also want to know how he is doing it, they want to know all about his crazy fitness regimen, diet, they want to know how he optimizes his body.
But what people tend to talk about less is how we optimize our minds because it’s just as important. Gathering your thoughts and checking on your emotions once in a while is very important so that you can approach the future with a clear mind.
Table of Contents
So to all the fitness freaks:
There are two types of fitness, there’s physical fitness, and then there’s mental fitness.
Physical fitness means strength and endurance, it means stuff like ground speed and air time. But have you ever considered what does it is meant to be mentally fit? For starters, it means PRESENCE.
No matter what you are doing, your attention needs to be locked, it means awareness so that you can see your surroundings with clarity and so that you can calculate your options accordingly.
It means having CLAM and COMPOSURE, in those stressful and big moments when the pressure is on, it means resilience. It’s facing a setback and still shows up fresh the next day. It means being at ease, relaxed and prepared.
It’s not about winning at a particular task; it’s about winning at life. That’s what mental fitness means, and that’s what ProKensho.com is all about.
So let’s spend some time together, and I will teach you the most valuable life skill, which is BEING AWARE AND PRESENT IN THE MOMENT WITHOUT JUDGMENT.
So in this article, we are going to discuss some of the most famous mindfulness practices to improve one’s concentration, self-acceptance, and to build a solid foundation in building a loving kind relationship while being present in the moment.
Simple Mindfulness Practices for Beginners:
1. Breath practice:
A foundational formal meditation practice. This can be done initially as a concentration, or focused attention, practice. Once some concentration develops, it can be expanded to be an open-monitoring, or choice less-awareness, practice.
Duration: ~29 minutes.
2. Loving-kindness practice:
This mindfulness meditation practice is considered a foundational mindful practice for cultivating acceptance, both toward the contents of our minds and toward other people’s well-being.
This mindfulness practice can also be expanded to include various events and individuals who upset or bother us at a given moment, as it can help us connect with them as well.
Duration: ~22 minutes.
3. Mountain meditation:
This mindfulness practice is a foundational equanimity practice specifically designed to help us find the desired stability and perspective when faced with various external challenging circumstances and instability in our emotional or external lives.
Duration: ~9 minutes.
4. Breathing together:
This mindfulness practice consists of some powerful interpersonal practices that can help one develop deep feelings of connection and the feeling of mutual compassion with another person. This mindfulness practice can be done either with a partner or by mindfully imagining the desired partner.
Duration: ~22 minutes.
5. Stepping into fear:
This mindfulness exercise is used to develop an experiential approach towards anxiety and stress, rather than avoidance when struggling with some serious anxiety. This mindfulness practice helps us increase our capacity to bear with various internal or external anxious feelings, freeing us from the deep desire or need to avoid activities that stir stress and anxiety.
Duration: ~11 minutes.
6. Apple meditation:
This mindfulness meditation is a version of mindful eating meditation, most suitable for children that use a vivid object of awareness and encourage reflection on the interrelated nature of all things.
7. Befriending the changes:
A brief meditation on the impermanence of the body is useful when we’re finding ourselves struggling with the challenges of aging.
8. Bell in space:
An easily accessed mindfulness practice for children. In this practice, we can give children specific instructions such as: to count the bells (which is popularly known to help younger children to remain attentive and alert about their surroundings) or simply listening to them.
9. Bodhisattva to-do list:
In the traditional Buddhist traditions, bodhisattvas are popularly known as enlightened beings who devote themselves to alleviating the pain and suffering of others. Even if we’re not entirely enlightened, this mindfulness exercise can improve our and others’ overall well-being: For instance, List two to three positive things that you’re going to do for others each day of the week.
This can be done for many people or only a few. Small, routine things are fine. Then, during the week, accordingly try to practice them consciously. Jot down what worked best. Forgive yourself for whatever you didn’t do.
Then accordingly check those things off the list as you would check them off of any other day-to-day to-do list. Before bed, reflect mindfully for a few minutes on your daily activities. In the coming weeks, gradually integrate bodhisattva items into your ordinary day-to-day to-do lists.
10. Breath awareness:
This mindfulness exercise is a brief version of a foundational formal meditation practice we have discussed so many times here on ProKensho.com.
11. Breathing on purpose:
A mindfulness practice that pays attention to the variation of a foundational formal mindfulness meditation practice adapted to the language and attention span of the younger child.
12. Eating meditation:
A mindfulness foundational practice that can be done either as a formal mindfulness meditation (using a raisin or larger quantity of food) or as an informal mindfulness practice (just mindfully paying attention to the process of eating during day-to-day life).
13. Equanimity phrases:
A simple mindfulness practice in which we focus on simple reminders that can often help us to “be with and feel the pain” of another person who is in deep pain (Emotional or physical), even if we can’t make that pain go away, we can mindfully relate to it.
14. Ethical reflection:
Mindfulness practice is often considered the most useful meditation practice to support one’s developing mindful ethics and values.
15. Five in five:
A mindfulness program for integrating the five ethical precepts of Buddhist traditions into our day-to-day lives, by deeply focusing on one precept each week for the upcoming five weeks.
16. Giving and taking:
A mindfulness practice that focuses on compassion and is often considered a great mindfulness practice that can help us deeply connect with a person or an animal that is suffering.
17. Gratitude letter:
A proven technique for generating overall (emotional and physical) well-being through cultivating gratitude.
18. Greeting exercise:
A mindfulness meditation practice is considered a very brief compassion practice in nature, and that can be very helpful when we’re about to intimately interact with someone with whom we feel some anger or tension.
19. Loving-kindness practice:
A mindfulness practice for a brief version of this foundational practice for cultivating self-love and self-acceptance, both toward the contents of our minds and toward other people.
20. loving-kindness practice for children:
An adaptation of this foundational mindfulness meditation practice for cultivating gratitude and acceptance using language and imagery suitable for children.
21. Mindful intoxication:
A mindfulness meditation exercise designed to increase our deep awareness of our use of intoxicants and negative affirmations. It is advised to skip this mindfulness practice if you’ve already learned that you have difficulty with an intoxicating substance and are trying to be abstinent towards it mindfully.
Brief mindfulness practice is specially designed to help us “authentically be with ourselves” and to mindfully investigate the challenging emotional or physical states of our being.
(Also Read: How to Become More Mindful?)
So before we end this article, can you recall a particular moment that made some differences in your life or maybe towards your mental fitness? Let us know in the comment box below.