Mindfulness is a great way to become calmer, focus on single tasks, and live in the moment. There are many different calming mindfulness activities and techniques that fit into a myriad of categories. From breathing and distraction techniques, ways to live in the moment, and enjoyable tasks.
Mindfulness is Gaining Popularity
Mindfulness is a topic that has become more popular in recent years. It can be explained as the mental state of being in the present moment, acknowledging and accepting feelings and thoughts.
Many people use mindfulness activities in order to improve their mental health and the technique is most prevalent in reducing anxiety. Athletes are also known to use mindfulness techniques to help them focus on their game.
Beginning Your Mindfulness Journey
Mindfulness may seem overwhelming to a beginner but there are easier activities to try. Think of it as silent meditation.
Start by trying fun activities and distraction techniques and build up to more complicated tasks such as the body scan.
Don’t worry if the mind wanders while completing activities. This is normal. Acknowledge and pull the attention back to the activity.
12 Calming Mindfulness Activities to try today
When finding peace and serenity, there is a myriad of calming mindfulness techniques to try. Some are easier than others, so don’t be afraid if they don’t work instantly.
Walking is a great way to achieve mindfulness. Try walking and focus on the sensations around, the feel of the ground underfoot, the sounds of birds or nature around, the smells and the sights encountered. This can help to feel in the moment, reduce anxiety and live in the moment more.
Mindful eating is one of the least known calming mindfulness activities. It can help reduce anxiety and improve the enjoyment of food.
Try eating with no distractions, while focusing on the taste, texture, and aroma of the food. This can allow a higher level of enjoyment with food. Mindful eating is also beneficial to weight loss, as it slows down eating and allows the mind and body to feel full quicker.
When feeling especially anxious or overwhelmed the 5-4-3-2-1 technique can distract from anxiety. Name 5 things that can be seen, 4 sounds that can be heard, 3 things that can be felt, 2 things that can be smelt, and one thing that can be tasted. This is an easy technique, but may not work after one try, if anxiety hasn’t eased, keep repeating with different items. This will help distract the mind and will get more difficult with every try as there are fewer things to notice.
The A-Z Technique
This is a more advanced variant of the 5-4-3-2-1 technique and is perfect for those who have mastered the former. Try naming 5 items that can be seen in alphabetical order. Trying to find items at the start of the alphabet can help to distract from problems and become a fun game. If this becomes easy, try moving to an unknown location, or up the count to 10 items.
Breathing techniques can help to reduce anxiety. Anxiety can make breathing shallow and difficult and leads to more anxiety. One technique that is well known is box breathing. Box breathing works when envisioning a box being drawn, count to 4 breathe in and draw the first line, hold the breath for 4 seconds for a second line, let the breath out for a third, and hold for 4 seconds to complete the box. Repeat this until breathing is more regulated and calm sets in.
Gratitude can help to appreciate the everyday and remember the positives in life-when the negatives may be taking over. Writing 5-10 things that make someone grateful can help a more positive and calm feeling before bed.
Journaling everyday can help to put thoughts and feelings in perspective, seeing problems on paper can stop rumination. Journaling can help clear the mind and leave worries for a later time. There are many types of journaling to try but starting simply with dumping feelings down on paper can be a beneficial task.
Bell or chime calming
Sit in silence and ring the bell, finding a bell sound on the internet can also work. Be with this sound, focusing on nothing else until it cannot be heard anymore. This can help to distract from anxieties and promote calm.
The body scan technique can also be used to promote calm. Lie or sit comfortably. Starting at the head and moving through the body to the feet slowly, pay attention to the feels and sensations in the body. This is a technique that is difficult at first, so don’t worry if no feelings are appearing. Repeating the body scan regularly can make it easier to achieve.
For many people life works at 100mph and includes trying to cram as many tasks into the day as possible, sometimes working on more than one at once. However, with single-tasking, take time to focus on one task alone, not allowing distractions from anything else to creep in. Focusing on breathing, sensations in the body, and posture. This can help to reduce anxiety and be more in the moment. It may even make tasks be completed more effectively and efficiently.
Gardening is a great way to reduce stress and have fun and mindful gardening can exacerbate this feeling. Try setting simple tasks and focusing on them deeply. Focus on the sensations, the breeze of the wind, the feel of the soil the smell of the plants, and the sound of birds. This can help reduce anxiety and enjoy gardening more deeply.
Mindful drawing and coloring
There are adult coloring books that have become very popular in recent years. Mindfulness or adult coloring books can be found in stores or printed from several online resources. Mindful coloring and drawing can improve calm, try focusing solely on the feel of the paper and colors on the page.
The 12 calming mindfulness activities explained cover a range of topics, from distraction techniques to breathing techniques, ways to be more present in the everyday, and techniques to enjoy life more. Mindfulness can help reduce anxiety and help you live a much fuller life.
It is worth trying multiple different techniques several times to find out what works best. If they don’t work immediately do not worry, continue to try them, increasing difficulty if needed.