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31 mindfulness activities you can include in your daily life

September 5, 2022 - 14 min read

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What is mindfulness?

10 mindfulness activities to find calm

6 mindfulness activities you can do at work

5 mindfulness activities to reduce anxiety

4 mindfulness activities you can do in a group

6 mindfulness activities for your morning ritual

Be mindful in your everyday tasks

We all have moments when we want to ignore our emotions and get on with our day. When we're sad, frustrated, or stressed, we often want to bury these negative feelings and try to forget about them.

Not addressing how we feel neglects our experiences. We won’t be able to resolve the underlying issues. But we're in luck, because by practicing mindfulness activities, we can better understand ourselves and our emotions — negative or positive.

Mindfulness exercises are more than taking deep breaths and repeating mantras. They include solo and group activities, and usually don’t require any special tools or equipment. 

Mindfulness takes plenty of focus and practice. But we're here to teach you some mindfulness activities, how to focus on them, and how to incorporate them into your daily routine.

 

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness means being aware of our internal state and surroundings. The practice of mindfulness can be therapeutic and help us form a holistic relationship with ourselves. It helps us improve our focus and concentration by increasing our self-awareness. This improves our awareness and understanding of our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations.

Anyone can practice mindfulness. We can practice it almost anywhere — in a car, bedroom, grocery store, or at work. We just need a space to focus and pay attention to our thoughts.

Mindfulness is also about accepting the present moment for what it is and giving our full attention to ourselves as a Whole Person. We all need to check in with ourselves to assess our mental health and well-being. Why mindfulness is important relates to how we live in a fast-paced world, and sometimes we need to slow down.

It takes plenty of Inner Work and Mental Fitness to be mindful. BetterUp can help you as you strengthen your self-awareness, manage your stress levels, and better connect with yourself.

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10 mindfulness activities to find calm

To remain calm amid a chaotic storm, you need to tap into your basic human senses. Calming yourself doesn’t happen by simply sitting down and drinking water. You can do to regain clarity and composure in many ways, but remember: calming yourself is a process.

Here are ten mindfulness techniques to find calm in your daily life:

  1. Play the sound game: Listen to the world around you. Identify eight sounds you hear, either from inside your body, in the room, or somewhere in the distance. 
  2. Ground your feet: Place your feet flat on the ground — (even if you’re sitting). Inhale for three seconds, then exhale for three seconds. Concentrate on your breathing and your connection to the floor beneath your feet. 
  3. Practice introspection: Take a minute to sit still and evaluate each of your emotions in silence. Note which emotions are stronger. Ask yourself, "What do I feel?" rather than, "Why do I feel this way?" Be curious about your thoughts and emotions.
  4. Play the chime game: Do you have a bell or something that will make a light noise? Find a quiet spot and ring it only once; focus on the sound of the chime and listen until you can't hear it anymore.
  5. Practice stillness: Staying still helps to slow you down. Focusing on one specific image or thought for as long as possible can help you sit still and calm down. 
  6. Follow your breathing: Deep breathing is one thing, but have you ever paid attention to how your body feels as your breath travels through your body? Find a comfortable position and slowly take a breath. Follow each breath. Notice where it starts, how it feels coming in through your nose, filling your chest, and exiting through your mouth. 
  7. Eat slowly: Challenge yourself to take 30 seconds to savor something like a strawberry or piece of chocolate. Acknowledge the smell, taste, and how it feels as you chew it.
  8. Light a candle: Light your favorite candle where you can look at it closely. Watch the candle and notice how the flame flickers. Your mind may wander, but try your best to focus on the candle.
  9. Play the name game: Look around your environment. Name three things you see, two you hear, and one you feel. This helps you become more aware of your surroundings.
  10. Walk outside: Sometimes, some fresh air is exactly what you need. If you can, go for a self-reflective walk or even just stick your head out a window. Let the fresh air seep into your lungs.

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6 mindfulness activities you can do at work

Mindfulness activities for adults at work are sometimes difficult to practice consistently. To make the most of your mindfulness exercises, you must dedicate yourself to them.

One study by the American Psychological Association found that small doses of mindfulness training help, but long-term mindfulness training will increase focus and job satisfaction and employees’ positive relationships with their work

Work-life balance is essential, and mindfulness activities will help you find and maintain that balance. Even if you work remotely, you’ll need to make an effort to do some mindfulness activities for when you have virtual meetings. You can do this by ensuring your workspace is a place where you can focus without any distractions.

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Here are six mindfulness activities to do at work:

  1. Set your intentions before you begin work to better understand your goals
  2. Remind yourself of the purpose of your work
  3. Organize your workspace 
  4. Approach your emails with a productive and open mindset
  5. Group similar tasks together to improve your workflow 
  6. Practice the Pomodoro technique to give yourself restful breaks

5 mindfulness activities to reduce anxiety

Anxiety disorders can impact how you act and conduct your everyday life. Certain stressors increase anxiety, like national elections and work. Extensive research on mindfulness techniques and how they help regulate mental health issues like anxiety have shown that mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques and interventions are effective at reducing anxiety

Here are five mindfulness practices to reduce anxiety:

  1. Coloring and drawing: Try doodling on a blank page or coloring in a coloring book. This activity doesn’t have any rules, so have fun with it.
  2. Music therapy: Make or find a playlist of songs that are relaxing and easy to listen to. They don't have to only be classical or instrumental music either. These songs should help refocus your thoughts — the genre is up to you.
  3. Do a full-body scan: Get into a comfortable position, sitting or standing, and examine your body from head to toe. Check for pain, tingles, or even relaxing sensations. See if anywhere is sore and if you can relax those muscles.
  4. Practice self-compassion: Anxiety can fill you with self-doubt and make you upset with yourself. Let go of what your inner critic says and flood your mind with uplifting thoughts. Positive affirmations, feelings of pride, and releasing blame you've been putting on yourself are excellent ways to practice mindfulness and self-love.
  5. Box breathing technique: Box breathing is a breathing exercise where you breathe in for four counts, hold your breath for four counts, then breathe out for four counts. Hold that for four seconds, and start over. Draw a box in your mind as you count to stay grounded — four seconds per side.

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4 mindfulness activities you can do in a group

Yes, you read that right; you can practice and enjoy mindfulness with other people. You can even bond this way.

Grab some friends, coworkers, or family members and try out these four mindfulness activities:

  1. Laughter yoga: Laughter yoga positively impacts people's mental health and reduces anxiety. Try finding a video tutorial online or ask local yoga studios if they offer laughter yoga classes.
  2. Deep partner breathing: Mindful breathing is a popular solo technique, but you can do it in pairs. Sit back to back with your partner and sync your breaths. Focus on coordinating your breaths and connecting with your partner.
  3. Blindfolds: Before you begin, check your surroundings and remove any obstacles and fragile items. Put a blindfold over your eyes and make slow, deliberate movements. Take note of your other senses and how you interact with the space. 
  4. Move and freeze game: Whether you're a teen, middle-aged adult, or retired, the move and freeze game is a fun way to practice mindfulness. Let your body move freely until someone yells "Freeze," then hold your position. Be aware of the position of your body and what your breathing is like after moving around. But don’t move!

6 mindfulness activities for your morning ritual

Your morning routine sets the tone for the day. A morning routine full of mindfulness helps you start your day more self-aware.

Reflect on your daily routine. How much time does it take to get ready? What does your average day look like? Here are six mindfulness practices to help slow down your mornings and prepare you for the day ahead:

  1. Establish a morning routine that gives you time to feel energized
  2. Make time to write in a gratitude journal before you leave 
  3. Wake up with plenty of time to avoid feeling rushed
  4. Visualize what you'd like to accomplish in the day
  5. Find a meditation practice that suits you, like guided meditation 
  6. Try mindful eating by paying attention to how your food tastes and savoring each bite

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Be mindful in your everyday tasks

Mindfulness activities really do work; studies have found that people who practice mindfulness techniques have increased self-esteem, optimism, and overall life satisfaction.

Remember, you can practice mindfulness anywhere, any time. Introduce these mindfulness activities and techniques to reduce stress, manage stress levels, and improve self-awareness. 

You become more connected with yourself when you practice mindfulness activities. It helps you tune into what makes you stressed, excited, and eager to find purpose in your life. 

Mindfulness is a good habit that spreads a sense of calm throughout your body. Whether in the mornings, arriving at work, or before bed, make time to check in with yourself. Practice mindfulness every day to embrace a meaningful relationship with yourself.

Building a relationship with yourself isn't always smooth sailing. BetterUp can help you develop strategies to incorporate mindfulness activities into your schedule and practice techniques that fit your needs.

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Published September 5, 2022

Elizabeth Perry

Content Marketing Manager, ACC

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