Mindfulness Activities to Calm YOU

The practice of mindfulness is gaining popularity as a way to ease stress, soothe anxiety, and be more present and engaged in life.

Walking meditation

Walking meditation is exactly what it sounds like: a form of meditation you practice while walking, often in a straight line or 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.

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Mindful eating

Mindful eating is a way to turn something you do every day into a mindfulness practice. You can make mealtimes more mindful with a few basic mindful eating practices, like listening to the sizzle of your pan and chewing slowly to savor every bite. 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.

Puzzles

Puzzles are a great way to sharpen the mind, but they’re also a mindfulness practice. They require focus, attention to detail, and presence of mind while also being fun and rewarding. You can try solving jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, sudoku, word finds, spot the differences, riddles

Coloring and doodling

Doodling is another relaxing art-based activity that’s a bit more free-form than coloring inside the lines. 

Crafting

Crafting can get you out of your head and into your body. It also offers the opportunity to work with your hands, tune in to your inner child, and engage with different shapes, colors, and textures.

Art therapy

When it comes to healing, art therapy may have a lot to offer. It’s used for post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. But it can benefit almost anyone. Art therapy can regulate mood and even addictive behaviors.

Basic breathing

Basic breathing is simple, straightforward meditation that uses the breath to settle the mind.

  1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
  2. Observe your breath on the inhalation.
  3. Observe your breath on the exhalation.
  4. When the mind wanders, gently bring it back to focusing on your breath.

That’s it! To deepen the practice, focus on feeling:

  • your belly and chest expanding 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 simple exercise that engages the sense of sight to tune in more deeply to your surroundings. All you need to do is select an object that appeals to you. It can be anything: a colorful scarf, an orange from a fruit bowl, a fresh flower. Then, use your sense of sight to intimately engage with that object. See the folds, colors, texture, size, and shape. Gently observe the object until you begin to notice things 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 deep seeing, except you use your sense of hearing. All you need to do is sit and listen. Listen to close sounds, like your breath. Then listen for sounds that are slightly further away, like the hum of a fan or someone speaking in the next room. Then listen for even further sounds, like cars or airplanes. Do this for 3 to 5 minutes.

Single-tasking

You likely guessed that single-tasking is the opposite of multitasking. All it requires is showing up fully to whatever task you’re working on. If you’re working on the computer, focus on one task at a time. As much as you may not want to, close all the browser tabs that aren’t relevant to the project you’re working on. This can help free up mental space and might even create laser focus.

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