You have probably heard of the term “mindfulness” quite a bit recently, and it is understandable why you would, especially as there are many benefits when we practice mindfulness, including people feeling happier and healthier.
If you want to start doing mindfulness meditation to support your everyday life and help you retain control of your nervous system, then you are in luck.
Today we will be going into how mindfulness-based stress reduction exercises have a significant impact on individuals and what kind of mindfulness activities for adults (and any age) will be the right fit.
We will cut this up into sections for different exercises with ages, to help you understand how you can be in the present moment so that your mind doesn’t race and go off on a tangent.
What is Mindfulness?
Speaking to people who attribute their calm and sereness to their mindfulness practice, you have probably heard a lot about what they do in their daily life to help themselves feel happy, connected, and even energetic in the present moment, no matter what they are doing.
To break down what mindfulness means, it is known to center around the basic human ability to be fully and totally present, with you having awareness of where you are and what you are doing.
Feeling all the physical sensations around you without feeling stressed or overwhelmed by them.
You may be doing mindfulness activities such as mindful walking whilst taking deep breaths, or you may be doing mindful gardening, it all depends on what makes you feel calm and connected.
Why Should We Encourage Mindfulness?
In everyday life, it can be hard for people to take a moment and be aware of their surroundings so they don’t feel consumed by what they are dealing with.
Practicing mindfulness can help those overwhelming feelings greatly, and it can help you understand self-compassion as well as paying attention to what your body needs when it needs it.
You can mix traditional meditation practice with a new mindfulness exercise, depending on what your preference is, just as long as it helps you be at one with yourself and you don’t feel agitated.
The Best Mindfulness Exercises For Adults
You are probably an adult reading this, so let’s jump into what mindfulness techniques and exercises there are for you to start practicing mindfulness in the right way to help you navigate a busy world.
If you want simple mindfulness exercises, then look no further than walking meditation.
It is often in a straight line or in a circle.
You can do this anywhere and at any time, whether you are walking to work or school, or taking your kids out for the day.
Writing a Gratitude Journal
Practicing gratitude can help improve well-being and provide you with positivity as you will be focusing on things that you are grateful for.
Combining mindful awareness with writing down your feelings keeps you present and helps you get it all out of your mind.
Try adding to your journal daily, you don’t need to list a lot of things, just a handful that you are grateful for during the day, so when you feel like you are going through too much, you can refer to your journal and get a hit of positivity.
A lot of us will eat very fast in our lives, we don’t really think about what or how much we are consuming, just that we are hungry and want to keep eating.
Chewing slowly and savoring every bite is a good way to start, plus, when you are cooking or compiling your food together, you can take it slowly, listen to the chopping, the sizzling of the pan, and so on.
It will keep you in the present moment as well as stop you from potentially overeating which can make you feel unwell.
You may also want to try things like –
- Eating with the hand you don’t normally eat with to keep you alert and aware of your food.
- Getting rid of all distractions, don’t watch television or read, just let it be you and what you are eating.
- Tasting and smelling the food in silence, take it all in, and eat slowly.
Deep breathing or similar breathwork techniques can be perfect for when you need to steady your nerves and keep your mind from overthinking or your body from reacting in a stressful way.
Pay attention to how you are breathing and why you are breathing that way.
Once you realize what is going on, you can start getting your breathing down to a normal level and helping your body recover from what is going on.
Go somewhere quite and find a place where you can sit comfortably and in silence so that nobody can disturb you.
Take a deep breath slowly and notice how it goes into your nose, fills your chest, and comes out of your mouth.
Do this a few times to really get the benefit, and don’t go faster or slower, just do it at an even level.
If you find this hard to keep up, there are animations online that can help you with your deep breathing so that you can get the timing right.
The Best Mindfulness Exercises For Kids
When it comes to helping kids be mindful about what they are doing, that can be a hard road to walk down, especially as they can get distracted or work themselves up a lot.
Here are some mindfulness exercises that can help them achieve the calm they need.
Wiggle and Freeze Game
This game can help kids be aware of their bodily sensations alongside practicing mindfulness.
Get them to stand apart from one another and tell them to wiggle, stomp, dance, or any type of movement, and then say “Freeze!”
Once they stop moving, ask them how their body feels and how they feel so they can take note of what is going on to help them be more aware.
Adults have basic deep breathing, whilst children have the fun alternative that won’t make them feel like it is boring.
Tell children to take a big deep breath so that it fills their chest and bellies, then when they are all properly filled up, tell them to breathe out the ‘fire’ inside them with a long and slow exhale.
This is the simple mindfulness version, but there are other types where you can include crafts for them to make a dragon nose out of paper, for example.
Using Calm Cards
Kids can get worked up at home and in school and they will forget to take a step back to calm themselves down, so having props such as calm cards can be very beneficial in keeping them relaxed and aware of how they are acting.
On these cards, you can have things such as –
- Read a book
- Close your eyes
- Drink some water
- Hug a friend
- Take a deep breath
- Go for a walk
- Play with some toys
You can either buy these cards in a store or online, or you may want to have them draw them themselves so they can connect with what is on the cards, helping them have that personal awareness they need.
The Best Mindfulness Exercises For Teenagers
Being a teenager is incredibly difficult as a lot is going on within a short space of time, e.g. exams, so to help them through this period, it is a good idea to have them be aware of what they need and how they can support themselves when it all gets too much to handle.
Listen to Music
Appreciating music and what it does for the brain is essential.
There are many benefits when it comes to listening to music, and when a teenager is feeling overwhelmed, listening to calm music or their favorite song can go a long way in bringing them back down.
Putting in headphones helps the experience and stops all other distractions.
Puzzles are not something just for the older generation or for really young children, they can be enjoyed by teenagers, and they can help them get focused and keep their minds from wandering.
Some puzzles that would benefit teenagers are –
- Spot the difference
All of these can be great mental exercises.
If they are a creative person, then putting that to use would be the best option here as it will help them create something whilst being mindful.
It doesn’t have to be with craft supplies, they can also pick up a coloring book, draw, paint, and so on.
Anything that will keep their hands busy.
Hopefully, you are aware of what mindfulness exercises there are and how they can be used to help you remain focused and at one with yourself whenever you feel the stress rising up inside you.
It can be hard in this day and age to find some time for yourself, but even if it is just for 10 minutes a day, this can be a huge asset for your mental health and physical health.