"Keeping one's consciousness alive to the present reality ..." ― Thich Nath Hanh
Mindful exercises have evolved from the Buddhist traditions and eastern practices of meditation. They have been devised to declutter the mind from its daily chores of mechanical living. By practicing them, we can learn to focus our awareness/consciousness on the present moment without judging the thoughts that come to our mind. It's about letting the present become a reality in total consciousness and total awareness.
Exercises for Groups
According to researchers, meditation in groups is often very effective for beginners as the environment created in groups is perfect for everyone to meditate. Meditation is a mental activity that helps us to revitalize our minds. Just like exercising is necessary for our physical health, this is necessary for our mental health. Although it requires time and effort for proper command over it, its benefits are immense, and it helps our mind to be aware and focused in daily lives.
◆ Quieten the Mind
Every passing second, innumerable thoughts pass through our mind. By quietening it, you focus all your attention away from daily problems and issues of life. Neither the thoughts in mind are resisted nor are they allowed to occupy the brain completely. You just witness the thoughts without judging them. Just letting the mind be still is the key for this exercise. As you distance yourself and watch them, slowly they will subside and you can experience serenity and peace of mind.
◆ Focus on Your Breathing
While watching the mind helps us to learn basic awareness skills, focusing on some object for some period of time helps us to increase our focus. Sit quietly and relax your mind by breathing deeply. After some time, just watch your breath with awareness while you inhale and exhale. As your awareness increases, your breathing system will be steady and you will be able to feel relaxed and focused.
Exercises for Kids
Since adults have benefited from clinical and medical observations of these exercises, children too can get benefited from such exercises. As training children is a bit difficult because they may get easily frustrated or distracted, they should be taught these exercise in groups. Children must be firstly be made to practice simple breathing exercises that will help them to establish a proper platform for further practices.
◆ Awareness About Breathing
Children may have never paid attention to the most basic function of our body, breathing. So, it is good to start such exercises that makes them aware about their breathing patterns. They must be taught to focus on their breath and not to change the rhythm, hold and inhale/exhale deeply. Awareness must be the main focus. They can be asked to count 1, 2, 3 ... with every breath they inhale and exhale. This will keep them focused on the task.
◆ Awareness About Thoughts
After children are aware about the present moment, their focus can be shifted to their thoughts and feelings. They can be asked to watch their rising thoughts and feelings without making any judgment or getting distracted by them.
Mindfulness exercises have gained popularity throughout the world, and people have started practicing them for gaining better control over their emotional health. Some exercises have been found to be very effective in healing psychological problems of many people. With regular practice, these exercises can be a boon for all those wishing to achieve holistic health.