Mindfulness is gaining attention as a means to reduce stress, alleviate fear, and be more aware and active in life.
The good news is that incorporating mindfulness exercises into your daily routine can be extremely easy, regardless of your age.
Almost everything you do, whether you’re an adult, a teen, or a child, can become an opportunity for mindfulness with a little forethought.
The daily mindfulness activities listed below provide numerous opportunities to slow down, be present, and become more aware of yourself and your surroundings.
Mindfulness activities for adults
One of the most common and well-known mindfulness activities for adults is meditation. While it may seem esoteric or inaccessible, meditation can actually be very simple.
These exercises are meant to transform everyday experiences into mindful moments.
Walking meditation is just as it sounds like: meditating while walking in a straight line or in a circle.
You can do it almost anywhere, whether you’re walking to work, taking a stroll around the neighborhood, or hanging out with your kids at the park.
If you’re driving, you will participate in the process by paying attention to the weight of the vehicle under you, the texture of the road you’re on, the vibration of the tires against the asphalt, and also the look and feel of the seat against your back.
Then, you can direct your attention to check your surroundings, being conscious not only of other cars, lamps, and pedestrians, but also of the landscape, trees, and skyline. You might also improve your driving skills with practice.
Keep your phone on silent, turn off the music, and save the makeup application for the parking lot.
You probably guessed (correctly!) that single-tasking is the inverse of multitasking. All that is required is that you completely commit to the mission you are working on.
When working on the screen, concentrate on one job at a time. Close all browser windows that aren’t related to the project you’re working on, even if you don’t want to. This may help to clear mental space and can also result in laser focus.
To deepen the practice, focus on:
- how you’re breathing,
- how your body feels in your car, or how your feet feel on the floor while you’re standing,
- the feeling of air or clothing against your skin
- your body’s composition and stance
Mindful eating is a simple way to incorporate mindfulness into what you do every day.
A few simple mindful eating habits, such as listening to the sizzle of your pan and chewing slowly to savor every taste, will help you make mealtimes more mindful.
Other mindful eating tips you might want to try:
- Try eating with your non-dominant hand.
- Eat the first few minutes of your meal in silence and focus on the flavors, aromas, and texture of your food.
- Turn off your TV and put your phone away while you eat.
Gardening is an excellent way to exercise mindfulness while still connecting with nature. Set an easy job for yourself, such as planting seeds or watering flowers.
Place your hand in the soil and feel its texture as you go. Is it coarse or fine? Is it wet or dry? Is it hot or cold? Allow yourself to have fun with the process as if you were a kid.
Take note of the temperature — not with your ears, but with your senses. Do you have goosebumps from the cold air, or do you have sweat on your forehead from the bright sun?
Notice any other forms of life around you, like a chattering squirrel or chirping bird. You’re likely to meet a worm or roly-poly in the soil, too.
Mindfulness activities for kids
Making mindfulness a game is a perfect way to show it to children. That is exactly what the events mentioned below do.
Five sense scavenger hunt
Most kids like a good scavenger hunt and this one is specially designed to promote mindfulness by stimulating all of the senses.
All you need to do is provide a safe environment for exploration. Here are the steps for kids to follow:
- Listen. Name one thing that you hear when you listen with your ears.
- Look. Name one thing that catches your attention when you look around.
- Smell. Name a scent that you notice when you take a sniff with your nose.
- Touch. Name an object that you enjoy feeling with your hands.
If you choose to incorporate a sense of taste, simply have a few kid-friendly foods and ask kids to choose tastes they like, such as sweet, spicy, or sour.
Monkey see, monkey do
This is an excellent mindfulness game for children to help them become more aware of their bodies and how they travel through space. As the adult, play the role of the monkey and lead the children through the different roles.
Experiment by shifting your weight in unusual ways, such as leaning on one foot, being on all fours, or throwing one foot high in the air.
In each location, ask the children how they feel. Is it difficult to balance, or does it allow them a good stretch?
Allow yourself to be silly. Giggles are likely to follow as children begin to move. Simply go for it. You may also ask the children to notice how their breath varies as they chuckle.
Dragon breathing is an enjoyable way to teach children to breathe slowly and deeply. The basic version does not include any equipment, but you can add a fun craft to really bring home the lesson.
To optimize the fun, you can read or make up a short story about dragons to get everyone’s imagination flowing. Some good options are “The Mindful Dragon,” “There’s a Dragon in Your Book,” and “Train Your Angry Dragon.”
- Instruct the children to take a deep breath in, filling their stomachs and shoulders.
- When they’re ready, tell them to “breathe out their fuel” with a long, slow exhalation.
- If you have a paper on hand, it can be much more entertaining to watch the paper blast while the children exhale. Simply tell them to keep it 6 inches away from their mouths and release it while they exhale.
Bubbles are a classic activity for kids, and they make for a great mindfulness practice.
- First, encourage the kids to think about what they’re thinking or feeling. You should prompt them by saying something like, “I’m exhausted” or “I’d like to have lunch.”
- Demonstrate blowing bubbles and throwing the emotions and emotions within them metaphorically. For example, “I’m nervous.” I’m going to put the emotion in a bubble and let it float away.”
- Show how our emotions and emotions are like bubbles: they rise and then float away in the air. They still pop now and again.
This exercise can be especially useful for kids who have uncomfortable thoughts or feelings that they need help letting go of.
In tough situations, providing little reminders will help children exercise mindfulness. This is another simple art that gives kids a platform to use in their daily lives.
Encourage the children to think of things that make them feel relaxed, such as drinking water, taking deep breaths, shutting their eyes, reading a book, or hugging a friend.
Then, on different cards, have them draw images of these things. You should also give them printed images to paste.
If the children are able to type, make them name the cards (if not, you can label for them). Punch holes in the cards and tie them together with yarn or a book ring.
When children are frustrated, mad, afraid, or sad, they will use the cards to help them control their feelings and feel happier.
Create your own cards or use this printable edition from Babies to Bookworms.
More mindfulness resources for kids
“Sitting Still Like a Frog” is a book and CD set that contains basic mindfulness exercises for children and their parents. To make mindfulness available to children, the activities use innovative, kid-friendly vocabulary. The audio can also be obtained from the publisher’s website.
GoZen is a goldmine of mindfulness tools for educators. They have services, tools, printables, books, and other products. They are all intended to assist children in regulating their feelings and navigating life.
Mightier is a biofeedback video game that shows children how to use breathing to regulate their heart rate and relax. Children have fun while wearing a heart rate monitor. The game becomes more difficult as their heart rate rises. An on-screen actor then instructs them to practice breathing in order to lower their heart rate.
Mindfulness for teens
Teens can appear to be a difficult nut to crack when it comes to mindfulness. Fortunately, many teenagers have interests that can help them gain practical access to mindfulness.
Music can be a great entry point into the world of mindfulness for teens.
Teens just need their own music and a place where they won’t be distracted to perform. Ideally, the soundtrack would be something they haven’t heard before. Headphones also fit.
Let them can pick their own song that’s a reasonable length. (They might want to save the 15-minute guitar solo for another time.)
Then, they can simply get comfy and tune into the music. They can ask:
- How does it feel in my body as I listen?
- What different sounds can I hear that I might not have noticed before?
- How does my breath change with the rhythm of the music?
Teens should get in their bodies and let loose, releasing pent-up energy and allowing for self-expression by movement. It is yet another method of incorporating mindfulness that makes use of music, so it could be especially appealing to teenagers.
Mindful movement is described as moving the body in time to music without worrying about dance steps or appearance. It’s all free-form music analysis.
There’s no way to do this incorrectly. It’s simply expressing how the music feels.
Group-based mindful dance
If you have a teen who’s into dance and movement, they may enjoy attending an Ecstatic Dance session.
Ecstatic Dance provides a safe place for people of all ages to step mindfully together, including families, children, and teenagers. Sessions are substance-free and quiet, making it a perfect way to experiment with movement peacefully and without the distractions of a traditional public dance floor.
They hold meetings all over the world as well as online. To locate the nearest occurrence to you, simply check for your place with the word “ecstatic dance.”
Shaking is another enjoyable way to combine movement and mindfulness that does not require the use of music.
This is often referred to as stress and trauma release exercise (TRE). Full benefits and guidelines can be found here, as well as a step-by-step video.
Puzzles are not only a perfect way to sharpen one’s mind, but they are also a mindfulness exercise. They need concentration, attention to detail, and mental presence while still being enjoyable and satisfying.
- jigsaw puzzles
- word finds
- spot the differences
Teens can enjoy puzzles without even realizing they are practicing mindfulness. They may ask the following questions to elicit reflection:
- When I get frustrated, what does it feel like in my body?
- When I solve a new piece of the puzzle, how does my body respond? How does my heart rate change?
- How am I breathing differently as I play versus before I started?
Teens and apps, if myths are to be believed, go hand in hand. Fortunately, there are a host of applications aimed toward teenagers that teach mindfulness in an engaging manner.
Aura is a teen-targeted app that sends regular 3-minute meditation reminders. It also has a nature sounds meditation timer, an appreciation log, a priorities list, and intelligent meditation personalization — all with Google calendar integration.
Stop, Breathe, and Think helps teenagers to monitor their physical, behavioral, and emotional fitness while still suggesting meditations. The app was created with the premise that teenagers have a difficult time moving from sports to meditation. A check-in as an interim stage assists them in recalibration and settling into a more conscious state.
Relax Melody is an excellent alternative for music-loving teenagers. It helps users to create their own soundscapes for use as a mindfulness tool. The software also allows users to install meditations aimed at improving relaxation, increasing concentration, or decreasing anxiety.
Simple Habit provides meditations tailored to particular circumstances, such as preparing for an exam, driving, taking a bath, and even relieving premenstrual syndrome. Tracks are 5 minutes long, making it simple to integrate the practices into the everyday routine.
Mindfulness for anxiety
According to a 2013 study Trusted Source, mindfulness meditation may have a beneficial effect on symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Try the practices below to calm and ground.
Body scan meditation is an easy and soothing technique for calming the mind and body. It entails scanning the body mindfully for feelings such as discomfort or tension.
Simply lay down, calm your body, and listen to your feelings to exercise. Check out this post for complete guidance, advantages, and hints.
Tracking is a somatic experiencing tool that can make you feel grounded and present in your setting. This is accomplished by gazing about the room and mindfully examining objects.
Box breathing is a technique that involves taking full, deep breaths to calm the nervous system. It’s also known as four square breathing.
Acceptance and self-compassion
Anxiety is often accompanied by resistance and apprehension of the anxiety itself. Accepting fear is one way to loosen its grip on you. This can be as straightforward as recasting fear as an asset rather than a weakness.
When you do this, you will find it easier to let go of self-blame or guilt for getting fear in the first place.
Mindfulness for groups
Mindfulness should not have to be a solitary pursuit. In reality, cultivating mindfulness with others may be an effective technique for self-reflection.
Blindfolded behavior is a technique for sharpening your senses while suppressing your ability to “look good.” It may be blindfolded meditation or even free-form dance.
The latter’s participants drive at a glacial rate. They can take a mindful step in the opposite direction if they see another person nearby or unwittingly graze a shoulder or elbow.
When you partake in this intimate ritual, eye gazing with a partner is a strong way to communicate and see what pops up. Simply sit across from each other, set a timer for 1 to 5 minutes, and look into each other’s eyes.
It’s normal for intense feelings to surface, and that’s well. If you are training in a group, after the first round, you will turn to a new partner and continue in this manner until all participants have trained together.
Partner breathing is comparable to eye gazing with the exception that you sit back to back with your spines aligned.
When you do so, concentrate on spreading your breath into your abdomen and back. Attempt to align your breathing with your partner’s so that you’re both in sync.
It’s often said that laughter is the best medicine. Laughter yoga is a group practice that focuses on joy, playfulness, and fun.
Sound healing and music therapy
Sound healing can be beneficial if you are drawn to music as a healing instrument. It can take multiple forms, ranging from music therapy to gong baths.
Art-based mindfulness activities
If you enjoyed doing arts and crafts as a kid, art-based mindfulness is likely to serve you.
Coloring and doodling
Adult coloring books are abundant on supermarket shelves these days, making it easy to pick one up and start coloring. You can also experiment with Healthline’s own conscious mandala.
Doodling is another relaxing art-based activity that’s a bit more free-form than coloring inside the lines. A Zentangle Method is a well-known option.
Crafting allows you to get out of your brain and into your body. It also allows you to work with your hands, connect with your inner kid, and experiment with various forms, colors, and textures.
Art therapy can have a lot to give in terms of recovery. It is used for PTSD, anxiety, depression, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. However, almost everyone will learn from it.
According to research, art therapy can regulate mood and even addictive behaviors.
5-minute mindfulness activities
Getting busy and being mindful does not have to be mutually exclusive. No matter how full your schedule is, you should integrate mindfulness into your life.
Basic breathing is simple, straightforward meditation that uses the breath to settle the mind.
- Sit or lay down in a place that is comfortable for you.
- On the inhalation, pay attention to the pulse.
- On the exhalation, pay attention to your pulse.
- When your mind wanders, softly guide it back to your breath.
That’s it! To deepen the practice, focus on feeling:
- your abdomen and chest widening and contracting
- the warmth of your breath in your nostrils and throat
- the sensation of your body against the seat or the floor
It’s best to practice consistently at the same time each day. Start with 3 to 5 minutes, and lengthen your practice over time.
Deep seeing exercise
Deep seeing is a basic practice that engages the sense of sight to help you tap into your surroundings more profoundly. Everything you have to do is choose an item that interests you. It could be anything: a bright scarf, an orange from the fruit basket, or a new bloom.
Then, using your sense of sight, engage in a romantic relationship with the entity. Take a look at the folds, colors, texture, scale, and form. Gently examine the item until you find details you didn’t notice before.
Set a timer for 3 to 5 minutes, so you can fully immerse yourself in the process without looking at the clock.
Deep listening exercise
The deep listening exercise is similar to the deep seeing exercise, only that you use your auditory sense instead of your vision. What you have to do is sit back and listen.
Pay attention to near noises, such as the breath. Then listen for noises that are a little farther out, such as a fan buzz or someone speaking in the next room. Then wait for additional sounds, such as cars or airplanes.
Do this for 3 to 5 minutes.
The Take Away
About everything you do in your daily life can be used to engage in mindfulness exercises. It is not intended to be a distinct entity from experience, but rather to be an intrinsic and enriching part of it.
Try these mindfulness exercises to bring presence, peace, and attachment into your daily life.
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