10 simple mindfulness activities and exercises
Written by: Emma Hudson | Last updated: 17 Feb 2021
Reviewed by: Paul Baker
Mindfulness is a way to live a happier life, be kinder to ourselves and improve our relationship with ourselves and others. This page outlines 10 simple exercises and activities to help.
10 ways to use mindfulness when you have an issue / challenge
Stop what you are doing. For three breaths keep your attention focused on your breath, it can be helpful to say ‘I am breathing in; I am breathing out’ – do this three times.
Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your belly. Which hand is rising? If the top hand is rising, increase your breath down into the belly.
Eat your snack or meal mindfully – keeping your attention on the taste, the smell and texture of what you are eating. Notice how the mind wants to rush it. Is it possible to not take the next ‘bite’ until you have swallowed what is in your mouth already? How does that feel? Are you enjoying your food better?
Bring your attention into the soles of your feet – feel the connection between the soles of your feet and your shoe; sock; floor.
Feeling down and depressed?
Write 10 things you are grateful for today … they can be as simple as being warm, fed, having running water. See how you feel after you have written it.
Bring your attention into the body. Where does anger present itself? How does it feel? Is it possible to place a space between you and your anger? Can you respond? Rather than react? Take a pause before speaking.
Take a mindful walk outside if you can. Notice your feet on the ground and then notice what is around you and bring your attention there. If you are in a built-up area look up? Notice 5 things you have never noticed in the area you are walking.
Shoulders and neck aching?
Do some mindful movement such as joining the hands behind the back and pushing the hands away. Rotate the head a few times one way and then another. Nod and shake the head. Breathe into the belly.
Set yourself a goal of something you would like to achieve; begin writing a plan… It may never happen but enjoy the planning, enjoy the possibility it may one day happen. Write a list of what you loved doing as a child? Is it possible to pick up an old hobby? Writing? Reading? Sewing? DIY? What about an exercise you used to enjoy?
Write a list of 5 things you know nourish you and 5 things you know deplete you. Look at the list and see if you can incorporate more into your life that nourishes you, and then think how you can approach the things you know deplete you with a different mindset.