3 Simple Mindfulness Exercises if Meditating Isn’t Your Thing 

The point of meditation is to surrender and relinquish control, says Tamarin Oblowitz, M.A. Clinical Psych, spiritual and holistic therapist, and founder of EmpowHER Healing. Raise your hand if the thought of relinquishing control sounds terrifying. For those of us who aren’t big fans of meditation, it’s OK—there are other mindfulness modalities we can try that offer similar benefits (think: decreased anxiety, increased self-awareness, more creativity). Below, Tamarin shares three mindfulness exercises to try if you’re not a fan of meditation.

1. A grounding exercise

“Sit upright in a chair with the soles of your feet placed on the ground beneath you. Gently close your eyes. Take a few deep, cleansing breaths.Now, vividly imagine a grounding cord attached to the tailbone of your spine. Imagine this grounding cord anchored into the rich, fertile soil beneath you. It’s helpful to make the ‘connection’ at least as wide as your hips. This grounding cord can be any color and can look however you want it to look. It can be anything that appeals to you and helps you feel connected (e.g. a large tree, a waterfall, a ship’s anchor, a column of light, crystals cascading down into the center of the earth, a certain color, etc.) This grounding cord helps you feel calm, anchored and grounded, and connected to your body and yourself.Visualize, sense, or feel dropping a connection from your tailbone area down into this special region in the center of the earth. Sit and feel the connection to the earth. Notice how you feel two minutes after connecting to your grounding cord, and internalize the grounding sensation/energy that emanates from this exercise.”

2. Being in your body exercise and cleansing blockages

“The below exercise makes you connect with all areas and energy centers of your body, allowing you to be and feel more mindful and grounded in times of heightened anxiety and stress.Start with your attention at the crown of your head. Notice a beautiful white light entering the crown of your head. While this white light enters the crown of your head, it clears and cleanses away the thoughts that are causing you to worry or anxiety. Now follow this white light as it dances its way down between your third eye, the point between your eyebrows. Notice as it cleanses away any energy that is blocking you from connecting you to your intuition. Now allow this white light to move throughout each part of your body, moving through your throat and cleansing away any energy that is blocking you from speaking up and communicating/expressing how you feel.This white light then gently moves through your heart center, clearing and cleansing away any energy that is blocking you from loving and forgiving yourself and loving and forgiving others. Now you feel the white light swiftly moving through your stomach area, cleaning and sweeping your stomach of any energy that prevents you from feeling your most confident, powerful, and worthiest self.

This white light continues to move down through your body, then dancing around your pelvic area, clearing and cleansing this area of any energy that blocks you from feeling creative. Lastly, this bright, powerful, luminous light moves through the tailbone of your spine, clearing and cleansing any energy that is fear-based and makes you feel anxious. Once this energy has been cleansed in your tailbone, you can even go back to the top of your head and start this all over again if you wish.”

3. Focus on your breath

“Breathwork is completely underrated, and it is scientifically proven that when we are connected to our breath, we can calm down our nervous system, especially when it becomes activated. One of the magic recipes for breathwork, which I often use with my clients (and myself when I am feeling tense or anxious), is the 4-4-8 method: breathing in or inhaling for four counts, holding your breath for four counts, and exhaling for eight counts. Repeat several times until you feel grounded, calm, centered, and aligned, and until you feel your heart rate slow down.”