Are you looking for some ways to practice mindfulness in your life?
There are plenty of activities you can practice for mindfulness and to relax and calm yourself down.
But if not done mindfully, these activities won’t give any remarkable results.
Thus, practicing mindfulness is the first step towards gaining noticeable result of your efforts.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of bringing your complete attention in the present moment.
Moreover, it enables you to be aware of where you are and what you’re doing. It teaches you to live and enjoy the present.
How to practice mindfulness?
You can practice mindfulness anytime. Just try to put in all your focus and energy into the activities or tasks you are performing.
Being aware of what you’re sensing and feeling while doing the activities will help you to practice mindfulness in your daily life easily.
What are the benefits of practicing mindfulness?
Practicing mindfulness has many benefits on your overall well-being.
- relaxes you from inside
- helps relieve stress and anxiety
- enhances focus and productivity
- improves the mind-body relationship
- creates better understanding about your surrounding
What are the mindfulness activities to calm down and relax yourself?
1. Body Scan
Body scan is an effective way to get started with the practice of mindfulness.
It promotes awareness and helps the mind and body to relax completely.
- Bring your attention to the environment you are present in. Get yourself in a comfortable position. ( You can lie down or sit comfortably )
- Bring attention to your body.
- Close your eyes and relax.
- Feel your surrounding.
- Now take few deep breaths and closely observe the breathing pattern.
- Inhale and exhale. Calm yourself down.
- You can now notice the sensations in your body.
- Notice your stomach, hands, arms, legs and feet, one by one. Do your best to soften these body parts.
- Notice your facial muscles and allow them to relax.
- Take another few slow and deep breaths. Bring your attention to the whole body. Let it relax completely.
- Slowly open your eyes and gently get up. Take few relaxing breaths. Once you feel that calmness in the body, you are ready to resume your day.
Following this routine brings calmness and internal peace to your being.
2. Mindful Observation
An easy and effective way to practice mindful observation is by using the the 54321 method.
How to do the 54321 method:
- 5 things you can see
- 4 things you can touch
- 3 things you can hear
- 2 things you can smell
- 1 thing you can taste
This practice helps you to engage with all your senses and makes you observant.
So, look around and be mindful.
3. Observe your thoughts
For a better mental well-being, take charge of your thoughts. Observe them.
Notice the frequency, rhythm and pattern of your thoughts. Let go of the negative thoughts and pour in the positive ones.
This will come with practice.
Be mindful of your thoughts.
In our fast-paced world, multi-tasking is often glamourized.
While multi-tasking takes more energy, single-tasking has amazing benefits for overall development.
Focusing on one thing at a time leads to extreme productivity and improves the quality of your work.
5. Mindful Listening
Do you know? You can practice mindfulness just by being an active listener.
Mindful listening is all about listening without judgement and criticism. It is about picking the tiniest details from whatever you are listening to.
To calm and relax yourself, you can listen powerful mantras, calming songs and even meditation guides.
6. Mindful Eating
Nourishment is the key to a healthy body. But you may miss out on the nourishment that your food provides just by not paying attention to it.
Mindful eating is a habit that should be practiced daily.
Pay attention to the color, aroma, texture and taste of the food.
Slowly savor it.
Be mindful of each bite you take.
This helps in maintaining the health of body as well as the mind.
7. Gratitude List
Nowadays, it has become a habit of ours to keep complaining and talking about what are we lacking at.
But don’t you ever forget to count on your blessings as well.
Making gratitude list is nothing but noting down each and everything you are grateful for.
It can be the presence of your favorite person in your life, the food you ate, even an easy office day. Everything that put a smile on your face.
So, count on your blessings.
Mindful journaling is an activity that may help you become more aware of what is on your mind.
It gives words to your emotions and thoughts.
If done mindfully, journaling can help you relieve anxiety and free your mind.
Reading can be an escape that you need to recharge yourself after any chaos or to simply rejuvenate your mind.
Read self-help books, motivational blogs, autobiographies, inspirational and fictional stories, read magazines. These will add up to your knowledge as well.
Escape from the outside world and let your mind wander in the world that the story is set up in.
Pay attention to the details, the language, the tone of the story.
Notice new words and phrases and then learn more about them.
This activity of mindful reading will engage your mind with draining out the mental energy.
Meditation itself is the process of being mindful of your thoughts, calming down the negative thoughts and developing the positive ones.
An easy way to do this- follow a guided mindful meditation session to evoke the positive vibrations from within.
11. Candle Meditation
This is more like a visual meditation.
It is a mindful activity as well as a concentration practice that sharpens the focusing power of your mind.
- Sit in an upright and comfortable posture.
- Place the candle at an arm’s length, away from you at the same height as your chest.
- Lit the candle and let the flame be still.
- Close your eyes. Calm your mind.
- Now open your eyes and look at flame without blinking. Concentrate on the brightest part of the flame- the upper bright white portion.
- Close the eyes again for a few seconds.
- Similarly, repeat the steps for at least three times.
This practice improves vision and develops the ability of willpower.
12. Deep Breathing
Start practicing deep breathing exercises to decrease anxiety and manage emotional responses.
4-7-8 is an easy-to-follow breathing technique that gives wonderful results.
- Take one deep breath slowly and exhale out while emptying the lungs of air
- Now breath in slowly trough the nose for 4 seconds
- Hold in the breath for 7 seconds
- Exhale through mouth for 8 seconds with full force making a ‘whoosh’ sound
- Repeat the same for up to 4 times
Immediately after following these steps, you will experience a sense of calmness and stability.
This improves the mental, physical and spiritual well-being.
Breathwork consists of different breathing exercises that increase oxygen flow in the body.
Taking even a few slow and long deep breaths trigger relaxation responses in the body.
Mindful walking is paying attention to the sensation and movements of your body as you walk.
It helps you to be more aware of your surrounding as well. It is also called as ‘walking meditation’.
Things to keep in mind while mindful walking:
Walk at natural pace.
Notice the movements in your body as you walk.
Observe the surroundings and tune your bodily movements with it.
Pay attention to the lifting and falling of your foot.
Avoid external distractions.
This practice involves walking barefoot on grass or sand so that your skin is in direct contact with the Earth’s surface.
Grounding helps you to connect with the Earth’s energy.
It evokes a sensation of positive vibrations in the body.
Take a few-minute walk on the grass barefooted and experience it by yourself.
Just as we absorb Earth’s energy through grounding, sun-gazing is used to absorb natural energy from the Sun.
It fills you with healing powers of the Sun.
Sun-gazing is a meditative practice that empowers your mental energy.
It is only preferred to be done during early morning hours and the last hours of sunset.
Avoid doing it during the harsh sun hours, as it may harm you.
17. Mindful Workout
Follow your regular workout routine but without external distractions.
Focus more on posture and correct form of the exercise.
You will feel lighter than ever, even after following the same workout routine.
18. Dance Therapy
Dance in itself is the most enjoyable and therapeutic form of exercise.
It is considered as a therapy as it helps to cure many physical and mental health related issues. It is the best form of movement you can do to keep your body flexible.
Put on your favorite music and just dance without caring much about your dance-steps.
This may seem so random but worry-free dancing helps you in better mood management and elevates emotional well-being.
19. Art Therapy
Various forms of visual creative activities compiled together are used in art therapy.
It engages your senses. This helps to enhance the creative power within you.
Art therapy is an expressive practice that uses creativity as a tool to interpret thoughts and emotions.
It is designed differently for all age groups. So look up for suitable art therapy activities and follow them. You can also follow proper art therapy courses.
This is a simple form of art therapy exercise.
Doodling random shapes and figures gives a flow to your creativity.
You can begin doodling as the first step of your art therapy because it is easier to do.
Pull out a piece of paper and any pen that’s available and start doodling.
You will agree too to the fact that there is a joy in growing something of your own.
Let it be something as tiny as a succulent or as huge as a mango tree. And this joy cannot be compared to anything.
Start gardening, take care of the plants, fulfill their needs.
Gardening evokes positive emotions and gives peace of mind.
22. Tea Exercise
This is a fun exercise to enjoy your tea by paying attention to all the engaged senses as you sip it.
Use herbal aromatic teas so that your sense of smell and taste engage with each other.
Make a warm cup of tea, sit down and intake it sip-by-sip slowly for a calming experience.
23. Aroma Therapy
Sense of smell has a strong influence on our mood.
Natural fragrance and aroma has the ability to immediately boost the mood.
Make use of natural essential oils in your shower routine. Use them in diffusers.
Lit up essence sticks in your room to completely change the vibe of the room. Fragrant candles can also be used to light up the room.
24. Calming Music
As we know, mindful listening has wonderful benefits on our well-being.
For an immediate light mood, listen to music that brings a calming energy with it.
Calming music has the ability to amplify your emotional state and make it positive.
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Which is your favorite activity?
Let us know if there’s anything you’d add to the list!