Mindful Moment Exercises to Help You Look and Feel Better

Distress (what we often call stress) can lead to physical ailments, conflicts, and emotional stress. Healthy stress (eustress) activities lead to a healthier more creative mind and active body. When you feel good you will have more resilience to manage conflicts, uncertainty, and change. 

Employers want to hire people who are adaptable members of their team. You will be prepared to manage disagreements at work and at home if you take a moment to breathe, focus, and relax throughout your day. Mindful moments will help you:

  • Focus on the work you want to do.
  • Feel better and have more energy for your job search.
  • Have that healthy glow that people want on their team.
  • Be the person an employer wants to hire.

“When you’re stressed, your body produces cortisol, a hormone created in your adrenal glands, which at high levels can interfere with brain functioning and impair your immune system. Prolonged, unmanaged stress can also cause depression, digestive issues, sleep loss, weight fluctuations, headaches and fatigue – not exactly setting you up to nail an interview.” 

How to De-stress While Job Searching

Incorporate healthy stress activities in your daily routine for greater productivity.

  • Healthy stress activities give you inspiration and energy.
  • You will recognize when distress is depleting your energy and motivation when you regularly practice mindful moment exercises.

Mindful Moment Breathing Exercise

Oxygen fuels the mind and body, but we often get so busy piling on things that need to be done or worrying about things we have no control over, that we don’t get the oxygen we need. Start your day with a breath of fresh air with this 4×4 breathing exercise (sometimes called Box Breathing Technique). You don’t need to have perfect timing to benefit from deep breathing.

  • Put your hand on your belly to feel your belly inflate like a balloon when you inhale and deflate as you exhale.
  • Gently breathe in through your nose 4 seconds and hold 4 seconds.
  • Breathe out through your mouth loudly 4 seconds and hold 4 seconds.
  • Optional: You can breathe in and out colors; mountains and rivers; or relaxing visualization you want to focus on for mindful relaxation.

Nancy’s Mindful Moment Breathing Exercise YouTube.

The Sleepmaker Waves app lets you set the timer for a minute (or more) and breathe to the rhythm of the waves. (Free on IOS or Android).

Tense and Release Mindful Moment Exercise (sometimes called Progressive Muscle Relaxation).

You often don’t even know what you are tensing until you purposefully relax. In this exercise you will tense sections of your body while you breathe and then relax. If you are sitting in one place, or doing repetitive work, set a timer so you can do this mindful moment exercise every hour or two. This exercise will give you a healthy brief tension in your body while you focus your mind on your breathing and your muscles. Breathe in as you tense a group of muscles, then breathe out as you relax.

  • Tense your face: forehead, eyes, and mouth, then relax.
  • Tense your hands and arms, then relax.
  • Tense you neck and shoulders, then relax.
  • Tense your back and hips, then relax.
  • Tense your legs and feet, then relax.
  • Notice how your body feels when it is relaxed.

Nancy’s Tense and Release Mindful Moment Exercise YouTube. 

Exaggerate Your Vowels Mindful Moment Exercise

It’s common to tense your jaw and it can easily become a habit. You don’t even recognize you are doing it. When your jaw is tense, your throat is often tight. For this exercise say each of the vowels: a, e, I, o, u, while exaggerating each one. If you watch yourself doing the exercise, it might even make you smile which is another face exercise you want to do often. 

  • Start with and deep breath, let it out and relax.
  • Say A-E-I-O-U. Exaggerate each mouth movement for every letter and hold each one for a count of three. Put extra emphasis on the O and U. Now, relax your face, close your eyes, and smile. Inhale and exhale deeply. Open your eyes and relax your face.
  • Optional: Gently move your head to each side and up and down.

Nancy’s Exaggerate Your Vowels Mindful Moment Exercise YouTube. 

Focus Your Attention Mindful Moment Exercise

Use this exercise when you feel distracted and need to focus on a job or project. It may take practice to focus all of your attention on one object, sound, or feeling but you can use this exercise anywhere to focus and relax.

  • Take a couple of deep cleansing breaths.
  • Notice everything your senses are bringing in: your vision, hearing, and feeling (everything your body is touching).
  • Choose one of your senses, for example, your vision: focus your vision on what you can see in front of you. Breathe. 
  • Focus on one object. Breathe. If the object makes you smile, that is even better).

You can do this with your hearing by focusing on one sound. You can focus on what you feel with your body.

Nancy’s Visual Focus Mindful Moment Exercise YouTube. 

Mindful Moment exercises help you eliminate distractions in your mind and body for improved relationships and productivity. Enjoy your breath!

References

Harvey, K. (2020). How to De-stress While Job Searching. Retrieved from https://www.onemedical.com/blog/live-well/de-stress-while-job-searching

Miller, N. (2014). A Health Lifestyle Increases Career Success. Retrieved from https://ncda.org/aws/NCDA/page_template/show_detail/94771?model_name=news_article

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