Free Mindfulness exercises: Building your Mindfulness toolbox

Free Mindfulness exercises: Building your Mindfulness toolbox

Meditation can be defined as a practice where an individual focuses their mind on a particular object, thought or activity to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, pain and is also used in the treatment of drug addiction.  Sitting crossed legged on the floor with hands placed in a certain position while chanting Ohm is not really the way for beginners to learn about meditation, especially in your own home. There are lots of free mindfulness exercises available on the internet and I encourage you to explore the different programs until you find the style that fits you and what you are trying to accomplish.

Mindfulness is a method of meditation geared toward using focus to enrich your daily life. Or to put it very simply, taking the time to just observe your actions and to concentrate on what and how your mind and body are reacting in an activity. Experience the action, translate the action to peace, and enhance the experience. Kind of like how a three year old child completely gets lost in something new.  Try using mindful concentration while observing a young child at the discovery moment.

autumn-child, Free Mindfulness exercises

My trial

Stress, anxiety, depression, pain are all difficult to deal with. The medical, psychology and physiology communities should be consulted and part of any treatment plan you have. The old saying, “Follow the Doctor’s orders “ should be used as a mantra. A lot of the prescribed medications are helping the majority of people. Meds can take a period of time to take effect and , when discontinued, take a equally long time to clear out of our systems.  Side effects can vary from person to person.

For too many years, I have lived with Stress Tension Sinus Migraine Headaches. For myself, I prefer a minimum of a prescription drug regime and I am lucky that, in recent years, the headaches have almost disappeared. For years I had episodes of four plus headaches a DAY and nothing helped. My doctor finally put me on Lithium. It worked but I did not wish to be on Lithium long term. The health hazards associated with Lithium are not something I wish to live with hanging over my head. I continued to look for a betterway.

I tried acupuncture and natural herbs and have had great success. Add in learning about relaxation and meditation, I have been back to a healthy life. But I do not think that what worked for me is everyone’s answer, and I had the support of my Doctor while I transitioned off Lithium and into a healthier life style. Work with your doctor(s), look into alternate healing practices and, most importantly, believe in yourself.

What is mindfulness?

One of the best answers comes from Thay himself.

Mindfulnes master Thich Nhat Hanh has a simple breakdown of five exercises for mindfulness in everyday life.

•        Breathing

•        Concentration

•        Awareness of the Body

•        Releasing Tension

•        Walking Meditation

Think of these as tools and begin building your mindfulness toolbox now.

Your First Tool

Mindful breathing is the first tool you need in your toolbox, no matter the end result you are seeking.  You already have learned a lot of breathing exercises just going thru life. Think of the advice you have received in the past. For frustration or stress “Just slow down, breathe and think it thru.” For anger, “Take some deep breaths and calm down.”  For giving birth, “Breathe, remember your Lamaze breathing,”

Take just a few minutes to sample two breathing exercises. If you are just beginning meditation, try the structured guided meditation for beginners. For more advanced, Dena Jensen has a breathing exercise based on Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings.

Additional Resourse

Headspace.com also has some good guided meditations for beginners and for more advanced meditations.  You can sign up and use their website or download the app. Headspace tracks your progress and provides a limited free service. Still, for beginners, it offers a structured, easy to follow program that will begin to fill out the basics and help to start a daily meditation lifestyle.

There is an almost unlimited supply of free mindfulness meditations available.  Truly something that may help you is hiding just around the next query, the next search. Download your favorites, the ones that help you most on the days you need it most and always be prepared for if/when your trial begins to interfere with your life.

Remember to build your tool box with the fundamentals and then expand it out.

Reward time! A little something just for you.

You know, meditation is more than clearing thoughts out and being a blank canvas. Practice the breathing exercise and focus on our next topic, Concentration. I’ll need some help on this one, my usual approach is to scatter seeds everywhere and see what happens. Sometimes I get beautiful flowers and sometimes just weeds but even weeds serve a purpose.

Little secret for you, I used to curl up in a little ball, hiding from light, noise, other people. and trying to hide from myself. Its not easy breaking the cycle, finding what helps just a tiny bit. I would love to hear about your methods for overcoming the challenges that we all face. As always, I welcome questions and comments. I am in no way a guru, but I listen and together we learn.

I still stumble, wander off, and get tired but I know I can find myself…

…Walking the Path of Peace,

Sanders

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One thought on “Free Mindfulness exercises: Building your Mindfulness toolbox

  1. fintan duggan

    May 4, 2018 at 3:58am

    Hi Sanders,
    Love your site,really well laid out,I don’t envy where you have been but I do like the options that you have laid out in your website to help people that are suffering from stress,anxiety,depression and pain.Keep up the good work!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      May 4, 2018 at 10:45am

      Thanks for the kindness you show my little home. It is slowly developing, almost a life of its own. And this helps me more each day to look at the world differently and to give back some of the blessings I am granted.
      Sanders

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  2. Sumit

    May 4, 2018 at 4:28am

    Great thoughtful and peaceful article. Loved it.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      May 4, 2018 at 10:40am

      Thank you. I like to hear that I caused peaceful thoughts. I hope I got you interested enough to continue finding your way.
      Sanders

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Blanka

    May 4, 2018 at 4:33am

    I agree meditation is a great tool for reducing stress and overall relaxation. By practicing meditation, we become more aware of our bodies and ourselves. I practice it daily and I actually like it. I also like breathing exercise, because in my opinion, relaxation and peace of mind are priceless.

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    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      May 4, 2018 at 10:29am

      Blanka,
      Wonderful that you practice and enjoy meditation. A really great way to improve our health, physical and mentally. I think that meditation sometimes causes people to picture a certian pose or Ohm chant. Relaxation also causes different pictures. My thought is we all practice the R&M daily, just some do not realize it.
      Take care and continue to grow.
      Sanders

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  4. Vivek

    May 4, 2018 at 4:53am

    Great breakdown of mindfulness and really appreciate the headspace tip. I’ll definitely check it out!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      May 4, 2018 at 10:36am

      Hello
      Glad I could provide a link to help start you on your path. Head Space has a great starter program but remember, there is a whole web full of free meditations. Use headspace to form a pattern, and enjoy your experience.
      Sanders

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  5. Mick

    May 4, 2018 at 5:26am

    I am a firm believer in alternative medicines and with the Internet now as your friend you can research this avenue endlessly.

    I hate the idea of taking any drugs and especially from Doctors. The Pharmaceutical Industry is massive and why would they want to cure you. They would much prefer you as a customer, that goes without saying. Just think isn’t your local GP on a commission?

    I like what you have done and taken it on board to find an alternative and as you say everybody is different. What works for some doesn’t for others.

    I believe its all in the mind and if you can sort that out then anything is possible. They have been doing it in the far east for centuries, maybe we should listen and take a leaf out of their books.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      May 4, 2018 at 5:47am

      Hi Mick,
      Always good to hear from a believer in alternative medicine. I agree that there is a Catch-22 in Big Pharmo selling us stuff to make us better, depriving themselves of customers. I am also a believer in the inherent goodness of mankind and pray that the drug companies are not just out for a profit. We live in a complex world, a lot of information is now available that was not available 50 years ago.
      By no means do I recommend not following a doctor’s advice and recommendations. By no means do I suggest not taking medications when they are warranted. I do suggest looking into your medications more carefully and being educated on just what and why you take each med and the interactions. If there is a natural medication that can help, make an informed decision with your Doctor’s advice.
      The mind is a powerful thing and is our most valuable tool. Maintain a clear and focused mind to make informed decisions about your health.
      Be well, be free and continue to learn. Thanks for the comments and for the thoughts your comments brought up.
      Walking in the Path of Peace,
      Sanders

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  6. Ivan Brozincevic

    May 4, 2018 at 5:55am

    Hey!
    Almost two years ago I was introduced to meditation while reading a post like this. It was one of those life-changing moments. I never thought that I would be able to calm my self down in certain situation as I can now. Just by 10 min sessions of practicing mindfulness.
    Furthermore, my father is a war veteran who suffers from PTSD. Meditation almost treated his condition. He is relaxed, calmer in his talk, happy, and enjoying his life again.

    Thank you for sharing this information with us.
    Ivan

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    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      May 4, 2018 at 10:17am

      Hi Ivan,

      Tell your Dad I said hi and thanks for serving. The price is high enough for the military without having to continue to pay afterwards. Good that he practices meditation and I hope he is aware that the treatment of PTSD is in for some huge advances soon.

      Just 10 minutes a day for meditation? Changed your life? And those changes will be with you for a very long time. Good to know that you can find a calm center when you need to.
      Be well, continue to use Mindfulness and to help others.
      Sanders

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  7. Brandon

    May 5, 2018 at 12:08am

    I have never personally tried meditation but know people who claim it has worked wonders in their lives. Definitely considering giving it a shot after this article.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      May 5, 2018 at 2:16am

      Brandon,
      Glad to hear I made an impact. Please continue to look at beginning a meditation/relaxation routine. So very much information available on the Net and the vast majority is free. Of course, I encourage you to visit us again, I will be adding additional “tools” over the upcoming weeks. Thanks for visiting!
      Sanders

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