Living a simple life and practicing a slow living lifestyle, I have integrated a lot of mindfulness activities into my day to day routine. But it did not start out that way.
I was really stressed, having trouble with healthy relationships and I did not know why I had so much anxiety. I started therapy, and was introduced to the idea of self care. Journaling was nice and I dabbled in meditation.
But when one day my blogging career and my self care intersected in a 30 day minimalist challenge that I took. And this minimalism challenge made me reevaluate a lot of different busy areas of my life.
I focused on my ability and limitations and learned how to set boundaries. And in practicing self care I became very aware of myself and mindful of how I felt.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is really just about being in the moment and focused on what you are doing with intention. It is a calm acknowledgement of how you feel, what you are thinking and how your body feels right now. It is about being conscious and aware instead of robotic and habitual.
Mindfulness brings meaning back into our day to day activities. It can help brighten our minds and bring joy back into our day to day.
Why Practice Mindfulness Activities?
It is easy to get into the habit of running on auto pilot. When is the last time you got to work and didn’t remember the drive? Sometimes we get busy, or feel like we are occupied doing things that we don’t really meant to be doing.
So we zone out. And in doing this we are missing our lives. As we wish for the current moment to end, we are literally wishing our lives away.
So instead of zoning out, let’s get tapped back into our own lives and start living. Mindfulness activities can help us start t do that.
Mindfulness Activities Suggestions
Below are some examples of mindfulness activities you can start practicing with lots of brainstorming to go with it.
There have been times in my life when I held so much anxiety that OTHER PEOPLE were actually telling me that I should breath more.
The power of breath is awe inspiring. Slowing down, intentionally stopping the shortness of breath and pulling deep into my belly to breath changes me. Here are some ways you can practice breathing differently.
Meditation is one of my favorite ways to practice mindfulness. It is a way for me to follow my thought. I used to think that when my mind wandered that I was failing. Then I realized that that is just a part of the process. I follow my thoughts, they wander, and then I redirect my mind again. It is a process. But there are many ways to meditate.
I do enjoy a traditional meditation of sitting cross legged and breathing with some wave sounds in the background. But that is not the end all be all of meditation. I will set a timer for myself so I do not bail out. I also love guided meditations for unique experiences, and the voice helps me focus and stay centered.
People shy away from meditation because they get antsy or think they have to sit perfectly still and be silent. Being still is a good practice. If it is a goal of yours, find a way to focus like on a dancing candle flame.
This is great for before bed, but I have done this in the middle of the day and it just relaxes me way too much.
Lie flat on your back and relax. Take a few breaths. Now start systematically relaxing every part of your body from head to toe. Focus on your forehead. Feel the muscles relax. Rest your eyelids. Etc. Go all the way down to the tips of your toes, giving each body part special attention.
Think gardening, or even dishes. Meditation does not have to be sitting still. Sometimes meditation for me is a repetitive activity. As long as I can breath, focus and be mindful.
Exercise is an excellent mindfulness activity.
It is possible to go the the gym, turn the TV on in front of you and zone out on a treadmill. You can find ways to exercise without being mindful. But for the most part it is almost necessary.
I have recently fallen in love with yoga for its mindfulness and awareness of the body. For years I thought yoga was just hard. Now I see what a beautiful flow there is to the rhythm of yoga. My favorite workouts are the ones in which I have time to just be intuit with my body and move strongly with whatever feels natural.
Exercising outdoors encourages you to practice mindfulness by being in the moment and enjoying your surroundings. Be outdoors as often as possible, working out or not..
Being Mindful Of Your Body
Engaging your body and being mindful enhances your workout. Exercise involves focusing on muscles independently, staying engaged and controlling your breathing. The more mindful and engaged you are with your body, the better workout you’re going to get.
Being artistic ca help you focus and be mindful of what you are doing in the moment.
There are all kinds of adult coloring pages you can get now. They are detailed and allow for creativity and decision making. The end product is also just really gratifying.
Creativity encourages breaking down walls and being open minded. Instead of focusing on rules, be mindful and focus on how you feel Gow with the flow and see what comes out on the paper instead of overthinking your creative projects.
Paint To Music
Try putting on some music and feeling the sounds. Move to the music, sway, breath, relax and then paint what you feel or see in your mind.
Repeating affirmations can be practiced as a kind of meditation. You can say them silently, but there is power in spoken word. I recommend saying them out loud.
Affirmations For Mindfulness Activities
- I am perfect exactly as I am.
- Nothing is more important than this moment.
- I am at peace.
- My happiness is important.
- I surrender my fear and doubts.
- I am here in the present.
You can also practice affirmations with other goals in mind, like self care,. Professional growth or relationship goals.
One Minute Mindfulness Suggestions
Now we have a great grasp on mindfulness, mindfulness activities and different ways we can practice those activities. Now we want to start integrating mindfulness into pour daily lives.
And the best way to do this is with small goals. So to start practicing mindfulness, here are some simple activities you can do in under a minute to get plugged in.
- Stand up and reach to the sky. Hold for a moment, then gently and slowly bend to your toes. Hold for a moment, then stretch back up to the sky. Repeat 3x.
- Set a timer a be silent and still for one minute.
- Repeat the happiness mantra, “I am happy, I am healthy, I will achieve my heart’s desire.”
- Repeat the happiness mantra focusing on someone else.
- Doodle. Draw a circle and color it in perfectly, or very slowly draw a spiral.
- Hold an ice cube and focus on the sensation in your hand, the moisture, the firmness, etc.
- Take something small to eat and fully take it in, like a nut. Eta one nut, taste the saltiness, hear the crunch, feel every detail.
- Tap your temple gently and acknowledge/ name the emotions that you currently feel.
- Wash your hands and take your time. Feel your skin, listen to the running water.
- Find a balance pose to practice. You can start with just standing on one foot for 30 seconds and switch.