Tree Quick Exercises to Increase Your Mindfulness Today

Johan Kenneth Dornell works at Mind Sthlm as a licensed psychotherapist who practices cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), specializing in Mindfulness-based interventions and Buddhist psychology.

Mindfulness creates an opportunity for better understanding and compassion for oneself and the world. Here are his three best exercise that you can easily do at home or at work.

1. Perform a Tea Ceremony

This exercise involves an awareness of everyday activities. Mindfulness means paying attention using your senses – sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Sensing always happens within the body and in the present moment, therefore, tuning into your senses helps to bring you into the here and now.

To initiate this, Kenneth suggests drinking hot green tea while paying attention to the tea ceremony. This may involve listening to the sound of the water boiling in the kettle; watching the color of the water change as it meets the tea leaves; smelling the aromas of the tea as they near your lips; taking a sip of the tea, allowing it to sit on your tongue and savoring the taste; and noticing the warmth of the cup in your hands.

By observing when you are behaving on autopilot, through force of habit, or on impulse, you are creating the possibility for behaving differently. You are being mindful of what you are doing as you are doing it.

This awareness can begin with drinking tea and then expand into every aspect of your life. 

2. Focus On Your Breathing

Breathing exercises do not need to be time-consuming. This is a simple breathing exercise, which you can practice at any time throughout the day.

To perform this exercise, you may close your eyes, place your hand on your chest and take a minimum of three (deep) conscious breaths.

3. Smile at a Flower

The final exercise is intended to connect you with the natural environment.

Begin by selecting an object (a flower or a tree) in your immediate setting and concentrate on it for a minute or two.

Allow your thoughts to escape your mind and look at the object as if it were for the first time. Kenneth recommends doing this while smiling as this has the power to create inner joy. “Breathing in, I see the flower blooming”.