21 Feb 2021
Every Monday, we will be publishing Mindful Moments, a selection of nine Mindfulness exercises for you to try out with artworks from the City’s collection, art at home, objects or even the view from your window.
We hope they will give you some ideas to start with and later create your own practices from.
General mindfulness practices will benefit most people initially, but over time only you can know what is most effective for your mind. You may find yourself developing exercises that are tailored specifically for the way you like to think.
Some of the exercises combine breathing and meditation techniques prior to viewing any art, while others jump straight into the artwork. By preparing ourselves beforehand, we can induce a calm state of mind, leading to a stronger effect from the art. You may even have your own breathing or meditation techniques which you’d like to combine with any of these exercises. Taking another perspective, without preparation we have the chance to measure how much of an impact an artwork alone has on us. Art itself can be very meditative by nature, and equally as effective in achieving peace as any other method. We recommend trying a variety of combinations, to see what works best for you.
Mindfulness has a strong association with meditative benefits, however we can employ mindfulness in a host of situations beyond simply trying to feel happier and calmer. It can help us to understand feelings of anger, frustration, sadness, grief, resentment, envy, fear, anxiety, excitement and joy.
For those feelings which are too uncomfortable or challenging to approach in real life, art creates a safe space for us to explore them. By combining it with mindfulness we can be reflective over our inner thoughts, feelings and behaviors to gain a better understanding of them.
We hope you find this page helpful and the exercises light-hearted and easy to approach.
Delve into the City Art Gallery’s collection and discover artworks to add to the exercises. Maybe you have an artwork, object or even a view from a window at home you could use to explore mindfulness.
We begin the week with exercise one: Articulating with Art. This exercise can be useful for those who struggle with articulating or expressing through words. It can help us recognise either how we currently are, how we want to be or how we don’t want to be, based on our responses to the artwork.