While everyone talks about how advanced our society is, we probably don’t have to tell you that it’s also crazy and doesn’t know how to live in the moment any longer.
Do you ever feel like no matter how hard you try you can’t focus and overcome with anxiety or impending thoughts of what could happen in the future?
If any of this sounds familiar, then you’ll definitely want to try out these mindfulness activities and see just how much difference even the simplest things can be.
The benefits of mindfulness penetrate through everything you do in your life.
1. Pay Attention
You’re probably looking at and laughing at the suggestion or thinking that you didn’t need some overpaid expert to tell you that paying attention is good.
If that’s your reaction, then it’s perfectly natural and completely right.
The trouble is that in our society, few people really pay attention to what’s going on around them. It’s awfully difficult to slow down and notice things in an increasingly busy world.
Take some time to experience your environment with everyone single one of your senses. Touch, sound, sight, taste, and smell are all good, but you arguably have more than just that.
First, though, start with something easy, like mindful eating. When you eat a favorite food, don’t scarf it down. Take the opportunity to actually enjoy all of the flavors in the process.
When you discuss with someone, pay attention to what they say without placing your thoughts along with their words.
Really practice mindful listening and to what they want to say.
2. Notice Your Breathing
Once again, you’ve probably heard people tell you to take some deep breaths on countless occasions that you can’t even remember. Just because this step is often repeated, however, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work.
When you’re dealing with negative thoughts, take a few moments to sit down and enjoy a deep breath or two.
Close your eyes and completely focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your lungs, but make sure to actually breathe from the diaphragm.
Many people these days take clipped breaths that come more from the top of the lungs, which isn’t at all how nature intended us to breathe.
Sitting and doing these breathing exercises for around a full 60 seconds can go a long way toward improving your outlook.
After a while and with practice you will be able to notice your thoughts and feelings.
3. Be Present in the Moment
You might be thinking to yourself that this isn’t really an activity, but that’s not true at all. In fact, it is a very important mindfulness activity. Do your best to consciously and intentionally bring open attention to what you’re doing so that you can feel joy in simple pleasures.
There’s a reason that martial arts experts for years have stressed meditation. It’s not because of any of the things you might think, however.
It’s because a proper, healthy and balanced state of mind is vital to being able to deal with any unforeseen circumstances that might come your way.
If you’ve ever been told that any of these techniques don’t work or are a sign of weakness, then just keep in mind that they’ve been used by champion kick-boxers for centuries.
4. Seated Meditation
Sit comfortably and stretch out with your back nice and straight, even for a ten minutes exercise. Make sure that your feet are flat and your hands are in your lap.
Once you do, you’ll want to practice that same sort of mindful breathing like you were doing before.
Whenever you start to get distracted, return your focus to your breathing again. According to a 2011 review of a number of empirical studies in the field, a majority of researchers actually feel that even something this simple can cultivate a more adaptive mindset that can make you more flexible when dealing with serious issues.
5. Walking Meditation
Find a quiet place that gives you around 20 or 30 feet to walk and then do so, making sure you’re aware of even the most subtle movements of balance. Also, read this post on walking meditation.
As you become more practiced, you’ll be able to pay closer attention to you and the world around you even when you’re in a fairly busy environment.
According to a Harvard University review of the literature published in 2018, the right kind of mindfulness training can actually help to rewire a depressed person’s brain chemistry to better adapt to rapid changes in events.
6. Practice Simple Yoga
An entire industry has sprung up around Yoga, but you don’t need a whole bunch of guidebooks and expensive videos to learn how to do things.
Just practice even the most simple asanas on a daily basis and you’ll start to see results if you pay super close attention to what you’re doing and take time out of your day to do it.
That’s vitally important especially for those who are somewhat unsure whether or not they would otherwise ever find a chance to do something.
Some people are so busy that they can’t even take that much time out.
If that sounds familiar, then you need to make a schedule adjustment. One 2013 review study from a journal of complementary therapies and medicine went so far as to suggest that yoga-based mindfulness practices could have an impact on those dealing with substance abuse problems.
Others tested were attempting to quit smoking, so think of how much of a change it could make in your life.
7. Add Qigong to Your Routine
While Yoga has enjoyed something of a moment, Qigong is still not quite as popular in the common imagination. That being said, it’s a great technique if you can learn how to practice it safely and effectively.
Qigong exercises, which are sometimes spelled Chi Kung, combined mindfulness therapy with physical motion and other paradigms.
This gives you a surprisingly well-rounded routine that can do more than just keep you focused.
As early as 2011, representatives from the American Journal of Health Promotion expressed the opinion that there was a wide variety of health benefits to be gained from this practice and many of them were more major than you’d expect out of mindfulness practice.
Keep in mind that any exercise or sport, when done with your mind on the present moment, is a mindful activity.
8. Focus on a Single Object
If you’re looking for something to do really quickly, then you’ll want to just focus on just one single object for a few moments.
Perhaps it might be better to do so with an individual natural object, but even a good piece of mechanical design can help you stay focused and grounded for quite a bit longer after you’re done with the process.
9. Think About a Band of Light
Another easy one is το just imagine a band or beam of light moving a columnar path through your body and focus on all of the various areas that it would pierce through.
This is something very simple that you could do almost anywhere, so it might be a good option for those who are stuck at a desk all day and wouldn’t be able to do anything else to keep themselves focused.
10. Undivided Attention
While that might work while you’re actually at work, there are other things you can do while you’re at home.
Try doing something simple you’ve never done before at home and then give it your undivided attention for a few moments.
You might be surprised how much you learn about yourself in a short period of time!
11. Use Baoding Balls
Chinese hand exercising balls are relatively inexpensive and readily available, so if you’ve ever wanted to try them this is definitely the time to do so.
They might even help to build up your hand strength.
One study from the Journal of Pain Management in 2016 recommended using a combination approach of multiple types of traditional Chinese exercises and acupuncture, but it’s probably fine to start with just running them through your hands.
FAQs for Mindfulness Activities
Is Mindfulness the Same Thing as Meditation?
Technically they’re not the same thing, but meditation can be an important component of a mindfulness activity. More correctly, mindfulness is the process of purposely bringing attention to experiences occurring right now. Of course, meditation can help you get there.
Is Mindfulness Practice Safe?
When done correctly, there’s absolutely nothing damaging about mindfulness exercises. The problems you might have heard about are caused by people spending hours doing things that they’re not practiced to do.
If you have any sort of underlying condition, then you’re going to want to talk with a doctor or some other sort of licensed therapist. That being said, simple exercises shouldn’t normally cause issues for anyone who is able to do them.
How Do You Prevent Meltdowns During Mindfulness Activities?
You might have heard some people claiming that they had meltdowns during practice, but again these are normally caused by people spending too much time doing a single thing.
If you feel any sort of major discomfort, then you should stop whatever you’re doing immediately and take a moment to relax so you don’t cause any issues.
Remember, the object is to de-stress not make things worse.
Do you practice any other mindfulness activities you want to share with us? Feel free to comment on them.
Scott Fanello writes for Eternaloak to help men and women build the body of their dreams. He lost 25 lbs in 4 months through intermittent fasting. Then he put on 10 pounds of muscle lifting less than 30 minutes a week.