Mindfulness activities for adults have become a popular topic in recent years, as more and more people realize the benefits of living in the present moment.
Mindfulness helps to improve mental health, increase focus, and promote relaxation.
What are mindfulness activities for adults?
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, without judgment. It is the application of meditation to daily activities, and it can be practiced anywhere, at any time.
Therefore, mindfulness exercises or activities can be focused exercises or everyday activities to which you bring a mindfulness approach.
There is a difference between mindfulness and meditation.
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present at the moment in a given activity, such as mindful eating or mindful driving. Meditation is a practice of calmness and concentration and helps train your mind to be calm, making mindfulness easier in daily activities.
Traditional meditation is most effective when practiced with intention and earnestness every day. But don’t let the fear of commitment discourage you from starting! Instead, you can encourage mindfulness every day with simple mindfulness exercises for adults
Meditation is a powerful practice; even a five-minute daily routine can significantly change your life. This new study found that a 5-20 minute daily meditation before sleep significantly increased the mindfulness level, improved the sleep quality, and decreased the depression of patients with COVID-19.
It is also remarkable that this was after only two weeks of practice. Amazing.
Is practicing mindfulness beneficial?
People are turning to natural ways to help manage their health. For example, mindfulness and meditation improve mental health, increase focus, and promote relaxation.
One study found that mindfulness meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve sleep quality, with the effects lasting for four months after the completion of the study.
A 2019 study showed that Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) could significantly lower blood pressure in adults with hypertension. This was an 8-week study that showed significant results in lowering blood pressure for adults.
Finally, a meta-analysis of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) studies found that MBCT is an effective treatment to prevent relapses for individuals with recurrent depression.
Mindfulness can also help to:
- reduce stress and anxiety
- improve sleep quality
- lower blood pressure
- decrease the symptoms of depression
Mindfulness applies the skill of staying in the moment, from meditation to everyday activities. I know it sounds simple, but our lives are busy, and our minds are constantly filled with analyzing the past and the future, so staying focused on the present is challenging.
To sit quietly and thoroughly experience your moment’s activity can feel awkward in our modern world, and that’s why it takes practice.
The good news is the more you practice mindfulness exercises, the easier it is!
Here are 25 easy and fun mindfulness exercises for adults to jumpstart your journey.
25 mindfulness exercises for adults:
Take a few deep breaths and focus on the sensation of the breath going in and out.
Breathe deeply and slowly in a comfortable position, focusing on the sensation of the breath entering your body. Hold the breath for a moment, then breathe out slowly, letting go of any tension in your body. Repeat this a few times until you feel more relaxed
Notice the sounds around you and name them in your head (e.g., car, bird, person talking)
Stop for a moment and listen to the sounds around you. Can you identify them all?
The cars are humming on the street, the birds are singing in the trees, and someone is walking by on the sidewalk. See how exciting and varied the world is by paying attention to the sounds. Practicing mindfulness exercises can be as simple as taking in the world at that moment.
Pay attention to the sensations in your body.
Hot, cold, tingling. These are just some of the sensations you might feel in your body. Pay attention to them. See what they’re telling you. You might be surprised at what you learn. Bringing mindfulness to your body is an element of self-compassion.
Focus on a specific object and see it
Close your eyes. Take a deep breath in and let it out slowly. Now, open your eyes and focus on a specific object. See it. Notice the details, the colors, the textures. Try to see it as if you’re seeing it for the first time.
Eat mindfully by savoring each bite and noticing the food’s taste, texture, smell, and appearance.
To eat mindfully, savor each bite and take notice of the taste, texture, smell, and appearance of the food. By being present with our senses during meals, we can connect more deeply with the experience of eating and foster a more compassionate relationship with food. It is also an element of self-compassion and an everyday mindfulness activity.
Mindful eating starts with taking the time to taste your food. Notice the textures, smell, and appearance of what you’re eating. Then, savor each bite and appreciate all that went into making the meal. You may find that you enjoy your food more and eat less when you eat mindfully.
Take a walk outside and see nature – notice the colors, smells, sounds, etc.
One of the best things we can do for our mental and physical health is to walk outside and see nature. It doesn’t matter where you live; there are always things to take notice of – the colors of the leaves changing in fall, the smell of rain, the sound of birds chirping. And when we take the time to see these things, it can help us feel more connected to the world around us.
Studies have shown that mindful walking for just a few minutes can help reduce stress, improve our mood, and boost our immune system. So next time you feel overwhelmed or anxious, take a few minutes to step outside and see nature. Mindful walking might be the reset button you need.
Do a body scan by paying attention to each part of your body from head to toe.
- Start in a comfortable position by focusing your attention on your head and face. Notice any tension that you may be holding in your forehead, eyebrows, cheeks, jaw, or tongue.
- Then move down to your neck and shoulders, noticing any tightness or discomfort.
- Pay attention to your breath as you release the tension from your muscles.
- Allow your focus to move down your whole body, paying attention to each part as you go.
- Notice how your body feels as you let go of any tensions you may be holding.
Practicing a body scan brings mindful attention to how your body feels and how you feel about your body. It is also an easy practice to teach kids to help with daily life and decrease stress levels.
Practice mindfulness of emotions by noticing what you’re feeling and why
Mindfulness of emotions begins with noticing what you’re feeling and why.
Why do you feel angry? Is it because your coworker cut you off in traffic? Or are you hungry and frustrated because you skipped lunch?
Once you connect to the root cause of your emotions, you can start to manage them more effectively.
Play with a pet and focus on the sensations of touch, movement, and connection
Petting a cat, you focus on the sensations of touch and movement: the soft fur, the flexing of muscle beneath the skin, the rhythm of breathing. As you connect with the animal, you feel your stress melting away.
Time playing with a pet can be profoundly calming and centering. When you are connected to the present moment, your tension drains from your body as you give yourself over to sensations and feelings.
Let go of worry and preoccupation with the past or future. In this state of mind, touch becomes a metaphor for connection, and you exist in harmony with another creature beyond the demands of words or language.
Mindfully do a task that you usually do on autopilot (e.g., brushing your teeth, taking a shower)
Do you ever find yourself going through the motions of your daily routine without really thinking about what you’re doing?
Next time you’re mindlessly doing something like brushing your teeth, take a moment to be mindful instead.
Focus on the sensation of the brush against your teeth and the taste of the toothpaste.
Notice your arm’s movement and the bristles’ sound as they move across your teeth. Become aware of your breath and the sensation of air moving in and out of your lungs.
Practicing mindful moments can help you appreciate the simple things in life that we often take for granted.
Be aware of your thoughts and label them “thinking” when they arise.
When you notice a thought arising, simply label it as “thinking.” Doing so will help you become more aware of your thoughts and eventually be able to let them go more quickly.
With practice, you’ll develop a more compassionate relationship with your thoughts and learn to observe them without becoming too attached.
Concentrate on your breath going in and out for a set period (e.g., 20 breaths)
Try to focus all your attention on your breath as it comes in and goes out. Observe your breath for a set period, noticing how your chest and stomach move with each inhale and exhale.
Set a timer for yourself, and see if you can remain focused on your breath for the entire duration. If your mind wanders, that’s okay – simply notice where it went, and then gently bring your attention back to your breath.
Mindful breathing can take as little as a few minutes and will help foster a focused awareness.
Try a guided mindfulness exercise (there are many available online or in apps)
There are many guided mindfulness exercises available online or in apps. Why not try one today? Find a quiet place to sit or lie down, and follow the instructions. You may find yourself feeling more calm and relaxed after the exercise.
Do mindfulness walking meditation by paying attention to your feet and the sensations of walking.
Start by paying attention to your feet. Focus on the sensation of each step. Notice how your feet feel against the ground. Are you walking barefoot? Can you feel the texture of the earth?
As you keep walking, pay attention to the sights and sounds around you. What do you see? What do you hear? Pay attention to the colors and shapes. Listen to the birds singing or the leaves rustling in the wind.
Continue walking and bring your awareness to your breath. Feel each inhale and exhale. Listen to the sound of your breath. Just be with each breath, feeling it move in and out of your body.
Try a mindfulness yoga class or practice at home.
Classes and practices that focus on mindfulness can be highly beneficial. For example, a mindfulness yoga class may be perfect if you want to try something new.
If you prefer to practice at home, many resources are available to help get you started. But, no matter what route you choose, taking some time for yourself to focus on your breath and be present at the moment can make a world of difference.
Take a dance break – put on some music and move your body however you feel like moving.
It’s been a long day. You deserve a break. Put on some music and move your body however you feel like it. Dance like no one is watching. Let yourself go and enjoy the moment.
Go for a walk and pay attention to your breath, body, and surroundings.
Go for a walk, and pay attention to your breath, body, and surroundings. Listen to the sounds around you, feel the fresh air on your skin, and notice the different smells.
Notice how your body feels as you move, and focus on your breathing. Then, when you return to your starting point, take a few deep breaths and reflect on your experience.
Play a sport mindfully by being fully present in the game and the moment
- Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings during the game without judging them. Just let them be.
- Visualize success and feel what it would be like to achieve your goals.
- Connect with your teammates and work together towards a common goal.
- Focus on your breath and use it to control your energy and intensity levels.
Do some gardening and focus on touch, smell, taste, and sensations.
Do some gardening. Focus on the sensations of touch, smell, taste, and sight. Touch the petals of the flowers. Smell the fragrance of the blooms. Taste the sweetness of the produce and flowers (edible, of course!). See the beauty of nature all around you.
Take a nature hike and notice all around you – the sounds of birds, the smell of flowers, etc.
Instead of watching television nature documentaries, go on a hike and appreciate the natural world around you firsthand. As you walk, pay attention to the sounds of the birds, the crunching of leaves beneath your feet, and the scent of the forest.
This is an opportunity to commune with nature and discover breathtaking beauty that you never knew existed.
Ride a bike and pay attention to the wind on your skin, the movement of your body, and your surroundings
Ride a bike and pay attention to the wind on your skin. Notice the way your body moves as you pedal. Feel the fresh air fill your lungs. Let the rhythm of the movement soothe your mind and bring you peace.
Go for a swim and focus on the sensation of the water on your skin and the movement of your body through the water.
Clean water washes over your body as you move through it. You feel the refreshing coolness of the liquid surrounding you and the weight of your body pushing through the depths. Then, focusing on the sensations of the water on your skin, you let your mind clear and simply enjoy the moment.
Have a mindfulness picnic
Head to your favorite spot in nature, and settle in for a mindfulness picnic. As you enjoy your meal, take time to notice all the sights, sounds, and smells around you. Then, let yourself fully savor each bite of food. This is your chance to slow down and connect with the world.
Create a mindfulness space in your home where you can go to relax and be present in the moment
Designate a special place in your home where you can go to relax and focus on the present moment. This could be a comfortable chair or spot on the floor where you can sit or lie down.
Make sure the area is calming and free of distractions. Imagine this is your sanctuary where you can escape the everyday life’s hustle and bustle.
Once in this space, take a few deep breaths and focus on your breath going in and out. Let all your worries drift away and simply be in the moment.
Listen to mindfulness meditation recordings or audio programs.
Mindful listening can help you feel more calm and present. Unfortunately, finding the time to meditate can be tricky, but luckily, many recordings and audio programs are available.
Taking even 10 minutes out of your day for mindful listening to a meditation recording can make a big difference.
Frequently Asked Questions about a Mindfulness Practice
What are the seven pillars of mindfulness?
The seven pillars of mindfulness are intention, attention, attitude, breathing, body, mind, and emotions.
- Intention refers to setting a purpose or goal for your practice.
- Attention is the focus on the present moment.
- Attitude is the mindset you bring to mindfulness – being open and receptive to whatever arises.
- Breathing refers to the mindfulness of breath and the focus on the sensation of breathing.
- Body refers to mindfulness of the body and the focus on physical sensations.
- Mind refers to mindfulness of thoughts and emotions and focusing on observing rather than judging them.
- Emotions refer to mindfulness of emotions and concentrating on being aware of them without getting caught up in them.
The seven pillars of mindfulness provide a framework for mindfulness practice. However, it is not necessary to focus on all of them every time you meditate. Instead, pick one or two to focus on each time and let the others be background noise.
For example, you might focus on your breath and the body if you are feeling stressed. On the other hand, if you are feeling sad, you might focus on emotions and thoughts.
With so many benefits, it’s no wonder mindfulness has become such a widespread practice. And there are mindfulness activities suitable for everyone, regardless of your interests or lifestyle.
What are the four mindfulness techniques?
The four mindfulness techniques are:
- mindfulness of the breath
- mindfulness of the body
- mindfulness of thoughts and emotions
- mindfulness of sounds
Mindfulness of the breath means focusing on the sensation of breathing. Mindfulness of the body means focusing on physical sensations. Mindfulness of thoughts and emotions means observing thoughts and feelings without judgment. And mindfulness of sounds means being aware of sound without getting lost in thinking about it.
These four mindfulness techniques can be practiced anywhere, at any time. You only need a few minutes and a comfortable place to sit or lie down.
How do you teach an adult mindfulness?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on the person and what their needs are. However, there are a few general tips that can be helpful.
- Start with mindfulness meditation recordings or audio programs. This can help get used to mindfulness and learn how to meditate.
- Once you’re comfortable with mindfulness meditation, practice it in your everyday life. This could involve mindfulness while eating, walking, or doing other activities.
- Learn how to use mindfulness in challenging situations. For example, if you are feeling stressed or anxious, mindfulness can help them feel calmer and present.
How can I make mindfulness more fun?
One way to make mindfulness fun is to practice it with friends or family. Group mindfulness exercises are a great way to connect with friends and practice mindfulness. You can also try mindfulness activities specifically designed to be fun, such as mindfulness coloring books or apps.
Additionally, you can reward yourself for practicing mindfulness regularly. For example, you could give yourself a small treat after completing a mindfulness meditation session.
Finally, remember that mindfulness doesn’t have to be serious all the time – it can be lighthearted and playful too!
How do you do a mindfulness check-in?
A mindfulness check-in is a way to bring mindfulness into your everyday life. It’s a simple mindfulness activity that you can do anytime, anywhere.
To do a mindfulness check-in, simply stop what you’re doing and take a few deep breaths. Then, focus on your body and mind. Notice how you’re feeling physically and emotionally. Accept whatever feelings or sensations arise without judgment.
Once you’ve checked in with yourself, resume what you were doing. Mindfulness check-ins are a great way to stay present and aware throughout the day. Mindfulness check-ins can help make exercises more effective.
They only take a few minutes, but they can make a big difference in how you feel. Try incorporating mindfulness check-ins into your daily routine, or exercise training, and soon it will become more comfortable and ordinary as a part of your everyday life.
What are the five senses for mindfulness?
The five senses for mindfulness are
You can use mindfulness to focus on any of these senses. For example, you might focus on seeing a beautiful sunset or the sound of waves crashing on the shore. Or you might focus on the smell of fresh-baked cookies or the ocean scent.
Mindfulness is about observing your actions or the situation in front of you. Experience it fully and distinguish between the emotions you are feeling and the event that is unfolding. Observing yourself in the present moment will help you let go of the emotional attachment and enjoy the moment for what it is.
Mindfulness is a practice that can help us to be more present in our lives and to connect with ourselves more profoundly. You can learn mindfulness in everyday activities, find a center in difficult moments, to focus attention when you feel overwhelmed.
Take a few moments for deep breathing and to observe negative thinking rather than let it be overwhelming.
We hope you’ve enjoyed these 25 easy and fun mindfulness activities for adults, and we encourage you to continue practicing mindfulness regularly. Remember, it’s important to be soft and compassionate with yourself as you journey through self-discovery.
What are some of your favorite ways to practice mindfulness?
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The material in this article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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