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Mindfulness exercises for everyday life

I invite you to practice these daily mindfulness exercises, simple and accessible practices that seek to increase awareness of the present moment. These exercises, such as conscious breathing and mindfulness in everyday activities, are easily integrated into your daily routine. Its regular practice helps reduce stress, improve mental clarity and promote general well-being, allowing you to live each moment with greater serenity and fullness. Remember! Always do them with a kind attitude towards yourself.

Recommended readings on Mindfulness in daily life

  • Mindfulness in Everyday Life: Wherever You Go, There You Are" by Jon Kabat-Zinn - This book is an excellent introduction to the practice of mindfulness, providing practical exercises to incorporate into your daily life.

  • “The Practice of Mindfulness” by Jon Kabat-Zinn – A collection of exercises and reflections that delve deeper into the practice of mindfulness.

  • “Mindfulness for Beginners” by Jon Kabat-Zinn – Another great resource from Kabat-Zinn that provides clear guidance and exercises for those just starting out with mindfulness.

  • “Learning to Practice Mindfulness” by Vicente Simón - This book is ideal for beginners and offers a step-by-step guide to incorporating mindfulness practices into daily life.

  • "Mindfulness and emotional balance" by Margaret Cullen and Gonzalo Brito - This book offers practical tools for developing mindfulness and managing emotions.

  • “The Book of Mindfulness" by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana - A clear and direct book that introduces the fundamental concepts of mindfulness and offers guidance for daily practice.

  • “Mindfulness to Reduce Stress: A Practical Guide" by Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein - This book offers practices based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program.

  • "How to Eat", Tich Nhat Hanh - Part of his "Mindfulness Essentials" series, this book focuses on the practice of mindful eating as an act of love and mindfulness.

  • "How to Walk", Tich Nhat Hanh - Also from the "Mindfulness Essentials" series, teaches how to practice mindfulness while walking, transforming this everyday activity into a meditative practice.

  • “Silence: The Power of Stillness in a Noisy World,” Tich Nhat Hanh Explores how silence and stillness can help us manage the noise and chaos of modern life.

Breathe in the present

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  • When you go down a flight of stairs. Stop when you have three steps left.

  • Take a deep breath, hold it for a while and lower your shoulders.

  • Then exhale slowly as you go down the last few steps. Allow the body to relax with each downward step and stop again after the last step.

  • Let your breathing return to normal and feel in your body how it feels now.

Practice this exercise as often as you can and see what you discover.

Notice something that makes you feel good.

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  • Take advantage of the small moments of everyday life.

  • Observe something that feels nice and pleasant, like the warmth of the bed, the ray of sunlight coming through the window, the singing of birds, or maybe something that tastes good.

  • Observe what happens in your body when you notice pleasurable experiences.

Be open and see what you discover.

Practice keeping your body in balance.

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  • Stand up and close your eyes if you feel comfortable.

  • Feel your body from your feet to your head.

  • Now follow your breath a few times all the way down and all the way to the end.

  • Now you can slowly take 10 steps forward and focus completely on your body with each step, from your feet to your head.

What happens to your balance, your breathing and your concentration in each step?

What do your neck and shoulders tell you?

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The neck and shoulders are areas where we often store tension. How do your neck and shoulders feel right now? Is there any tension, numbness, pain?

  • Start by breathing deeply while raising your shoulders as high as you can.

  • Hold them for a while and feel how you experience this tension.

  • Then exhale as you press your shoulders down as much as you can and hold for a moment.

  • Now let your shoulders assume a normal position and let your breathing return to its natural rhythm.

You experience the difference and the after effect on your shoulders and neck. Do you feel any difference? Heat? Tingling, tingling sensation? Or something else?

Experience what you have on your plate

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How often do we quickly swallow food while checking our cell phone, watching television or listening to something?

  • Try starting the meal with 5 minutes of silence. This may seem strange the first time, but be curious.

  • Then take the time to eat slowly and calmly and feel all the tastes, smells and other sensory impressions.

  • If possible, leave your cell phone on silent and the television off.

  • Observe the smell, taste and temperature of what you drink/eat.

Pause a second before each time you drink/eat and then give each sense at least five seconds of attention.

Being present in the body creates calm.

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A quick way to create more calm can be to get in touch with your body. Feel free to do this exercise sitting down.

  • Firmly stomp a few times on the ground with both feet.

  • Then let your feet rest on the floor while you close your eyes and let your breathing follow its natural rhythm.

  • Notice the effects on your feet, calves and lower thighs. What do you feel? Vibrations? Stitches? Currents? Heat? Or something else?

  • If necessary, repeat the exercise.

Listen to the body

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Training yourself to listen to your body helps you be clearer about what you want.

  • When someone asks you for something, notice how your body feels. Do you get tense or anxious or do you feel relaxed and light in your body?

  • If you are tense and worried, ask for time if you find it difficult to say no right away.

For example, use the phrase: "Can I get back to you a little later?"

Notice how it feels. What seems possible to do or not do?

Leave technology for a while

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If you are working at a computer, walk away for a while, turn off the phone, or don't answer when it rings. Before we lived without all these things. Now we tend to be tyrannized by them.

  • Try making more conscious decisions about how you use technology this week and see what you discover. When you step away from the computer or choose not to answer/read on your mobile. Notice how it feels in your body. What do you discover?

Try it and you'll see.

Show appreciation

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Practice being more aware of what you appreciate about yourself.

  • How often do we stop and appreciate the little things we do every day? For example, before leaving work for the day or other tasks. Take a moment to appreciate what you've done during the day, for yourself, your colleagues, or someone else.

  • What did you do?

  • What emotions and bodily sensations does what you did evoke in you?

  • What needs of yours were met?

Get more energy

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  • Stand up.

  • Put down everything you have in your hands and take three deep breaths.

  • Close your eyes and feel the body.

  • What is happening there right now? On your feet, on your legs, on your stomach and chest, on your neck, shoulders, arms, hands, neck, neck and head?

  • Pay attention to each part of the body for about 5 seconds and observe the effects afterwards.

Look for the pleasant in the experience.

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  • Sit and close your eyes for a while and feel the body. Look at what you are experiencing right now, is there any resistance or any pleasurable sensations?

  • Now you can search for pleasurable sensations in the body for a while.

  • Maybe you feel warmth somewhere? A feeling of being relaxed? Maybe your cheek, the top of your hand or some part of your body is soft? Do you have a feeling of fullness and satisfaction or is there something else that you may experience as pleasurable in your experience right now?

Practice looking for the pleasurable in your experience with curiosity and see what you discover.

Take a moment to be with yourself

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  • You can sit or lie down and let your eyes look out the window, what do you see right now? And now? And now?

  • Then listen to the sounds around you, what sounds are you hearing right now? And now? And now?

  • Take a slow walk and remember to use your senses. Do you see? What do you hear?

Learn to deal with strong emotions

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When you get angry or feel anger, stop and see if you can be with your anger without reacting immediately.

  • Feel in your body where the anger feels strongest.

  • Inhale to that point and exhale from that point for a few breaths.

  • Place a comforting hand on that spot and ask yourself as kindly as you can: Who decides how I should react?

  • Now inhale and exhale a few times to the point again and see if the sensation subsides.

The more often you do this exercise, the easier it will be to deal with strong emotions when they arise. You have time to choose whether to act on your feelings and not simply react.

Good luck and be patient and compassionate with yourself if you find this exercise difficult.

Anchor in the present

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  • Breathe deeply and feel how the inhalation fills your lungs and activates the upper part of your body: abdomen, chest, shoulders, back and pelvis. Hold the position for a moment and notice how it feels in your upper body.

  • Lower your shoulders and exhale slowly. At the same time, feel your shoulders, chest, and abdomen sink a little as you exhale.

  • Carefully follow the entire exhalation: what does it feel and experience when you exhale this way?

Feel free to repeat the exercise three times and then let your breathing return to its natural rhythm.

When it gets too much - stop

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  • Direct your attention as a focus inward, to the body, to the feet and to the contact of the soles of the feet with the ground.

  • Take a few mindful breaths.

  • Count to 5 when inhaling and 8 when exhaling.

  • Focus on how the breath feels in your nostrils, all the way in, down to your abdomen, and out again.

  • Follow a few more silent breaths (mini meditation in a stressful everyday life). How do you feel afterwards?

Write small thank you notes.

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Remember every day this week what you have to be grateful for. It is often the little things that make us happy and grateful.

  • What do I have to be grateful for today? Write at least three things each day on a piece of paper.

  • When a week has passed, you take out your notes, assimilate and reflect on what you have to be grateful for.

Give yourself a gentle awakening every morning

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Stopping and taking time to do mindfulness exercises is a way to show that you care about yourself.

  • Get in touch with your breath right when you wake up. Carefully follow a few breaths until the end, before getting out of bed.

  • Observe any sounds, inside and outside the room.

  • Notice the difference in waking up and your attitude towards the day if you practice this way for a while.

Remember! Always do this with a kind attitude towards yourself.

Take small breaks in everyday life.

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To truly rest during the day, it's important to take a conscious break rather than simply switching activities. Instead of carrying your cup of coffee to your desk or eating lunch while you work, here are some ways to enjoy small breaks that will help you relax and feel better:

  • Take a moment to do what is most useful and beneficial for you at that moment, paying attention to what the body needs. Maybe you need five minutes outside, a short walk, lying down and closing your eyes while breathing deeply, or some mindful stretches with deep breathing.

  • If you decide to enjoy your coffee during your break, take a moment to savor it with all your senses: smell, taste, and heat.

How do you feel before and after these mindful breaks? Try it and experience the difference.

Practice making more conscious decisions


When something happens that bothers, irritates or angers you. Stop, take three deep breaths.

  • Observe what happens inside you; in the body, in your thoughts and feelings. Can you influence the situation? You want that? Or should you leave it like this? What is the wisest thing to do at this moment?

  • It is only you who decides how you will react to your feelings.

When you increase awareness of your emotions and how you act in different situations, you become more balanced and act more wisely.

Take a vacation the DO way

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The DO mode is good: then things are done. However, we don't need to be in DO mode all the time.

Taking a break means going from DOING to BEING for a while.

When we are in BE mode, we are simply Here and Now in the moment, completely present, relaxed but alert.

Just sit quietly for a while and feel how you feel in your body and mind. Just be there and not have to do anything.

See what you discover.

Everything's fine.

Show loving kindness to yourself and others.

  • When you meet someone, think or say silently: "He/she also deserves to feel good and be loved, just like I do."

Remember this phrase frequently to practice empathy.

Reduce tension by listening to the body

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  • Start by directing your attention to your body, where you are right now, whether you are sitting, standing or lying down.

  • Feel the contact points of the body against the surface.

  • Then notice how it feels in your feet, legs, stomach, chest, shoulders, arms, neck, face and finally your entire body.

  • Observe the sensations in the body as you move your attention from one part of the body to another. Are there tensions, pains or discomforts?

  • When you notice tension, you can stop and breathe calmly a few times while keeping your attention on the tension. See if you notice any changes and then calmly move your attention around the body.

Repeat this exercise and remember not to expect anything special; Instead, see what you discover.

Observe your breathing with curiosity

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  • Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight and close your eyes if you feel comfortable.

  • Simply sit and notice your breathing for a while. How is your breathing right now? Is it short, long, hard, soft, fast, slow, uniform or uneven?

  • Simply observe your breathing curiously right now, without changing it in any way.

  • Now listen to your breathing. What do you hear? Is your breathing a whisper, a hiss, or something else?

  • What does the air feel like when you breathe in and out? Hot, cool, dry, humid or something else you discover?

  • If your thoughts wander to something else, simply return your attention to your breathing gently and kindly.

Curiously observing your breathing for a short or long time increases your ability to concentrate and increases your ability to be more present in what you are doing.

Be kind and gentle with yourself

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  • Start by stopping.

  • Stand or sit where you are.

  • Direct your attention in a gentle, friendly way to how your breath feels in your abdomen: how the abdominal wall expands and sinks... with each breath.

  • Follow three to five breaths in this gentle way with yourself. And remember that you are fine just the way you are.

Feel free to do this exercise as many times as you remember during the day. Good luck!

Create the conditions for a good start to the day.

  • If possible, set your alarm to go off 10 minutes earlier than usual. Then use these extra minutes in peace and quiet for yourself.

  • Increase your awareness of what is here and now. Feel the body, the thoughts and what emotions are moving in the body and mind at this moment.

  • Notice what bodily sensations are here at this moment. Are you relaxed, tense, stiff, experiencing pain or something else?

Having noticed what is here right now, you will have increased your opportunity to influence your choices for the rest of the day.

Enjoy the nature...

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....as often as you can.

  • Sit under a tree, on the grass, or by the water.

  • Inhale deeply the fresh air and nature, observing everything around you in detail.

  • Let the calm and simplicity envelop you and notice how you feel.

Observe your thoughts about your performance.

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The practice of mindfulness allows you to be present, aware, and accepting of what is happening in the current moment. This practice gives you the opportunity to get to know yourself and your behavior better, as well as how you react to others and situations presented to you.

Try the following:

  • Notice if you have internal performance thoughts or “everyday competitions” with yourself and others.

  • Ask yourself: what does this "inner competitor" lead to? Does it make me feel calmer, happier and more at peace or more stressed, dissatisfied and critical?

Remember to be kind to yourself and others. If everything doesn't go as you expected, be patient with yourself.