11 Mindfulness Exercises To Boost Your Inner Calm
There are so many benefits of practicing meditation and mindfulness exercises , which is why so many people choose to practice mindful meditation. However, while meditation is one of the most powerful practices in the entire world (and has been for centuries), this is not the only way to practice the art of mindfulness.
In addition to regular meditations, you can also use mindfulness exercises to help boost your inner calm and help you find this sense of inner peace. If you have never tried mindfulness exercises before, this guide will help you gain a better understanding of and appreciate for this practice so you can start including it in your regular routine.
What is a Mindfulness Exercise?
As the name suggests, mindfulness exercises are a form of exercise that is designed not necessarily to train and tone the body, but the mind and spirit as well (although many of these exercises do also help the body). These exercises are more active than stationary meditation and can help you practice the art of mindfulness in new and fun ways you may have never thought were possible before.
Why Do People Do Mindfulness Exercises?
So, why do people do these mindfulness exercises? Well, there are a few different reasons, but the main purpose is for people to learn how to become more aware of what is going on in their lives moment-by-moment.
This practice then helps people learn how to better cope with difficult thoughts and feelings that can cause stress and anxiety in their everyday lives. Mindfulness can help use all be more conscious of our thoughts, actions and feelings and learn how to handle challenges with a calm and clear mind.
Benefits of Mindfulness Exercises
In order to see the full benefits of mindfulness exercises, you will need to practice them regularly and consistently (each and every day if you are able). Over time, you will start to see the many different benefits of this unique form of meditation. This includes:
- Stress reduction
- Less anxious episodes
- Improved attention
- Less professional burnout
- Help with coping with pain
- Improved depression and depressive symptoms
- Better sleep quality
- Improved symptoms of hypertension or high blood pressure
Many people also, simply enjoy mindfulness because it makes them feel better and in more control of their thoughts and feelings.
11 Mindfulness Exercises
There are so many different ways to practice mindfulness. Here are 11 of the most common and effective mindful exercises out there.
1. The Body Scan
The body scan is perhaps the most similar practice to mindful meditation and is a nice relaxing exercise you can perform anywhere.
- Find a quiet place and bring your attention to your body.
- Close your eyes and start to pay attention to where your body is seated—fee the weight of your body on a cushion, chair or the floor.
- Take several big, cleansing breaths in and out.
- As you breath in, follow your breath as it moves through your body, picture it bringing in more oxygen and more energy to your body.
- As you exhale, visualize yourself feeling more deeply relaxed.
- Continue breathing and scan through your entire body. Notice your feet and how they feel against the floor, your hands and how they feel, your pulse, your stomach, any tension in your back. Slowly touch on every part of your body.
- Do this practice until you have scanned your entire body and then open your eyes to feel more relaxed, calm and in tune with your body.
This is a great exercise to promote health, well-being and better body image.
2. Five Senses Exercise
The Five Senses Exercise is great for those who have issue with feeling anxious. The premise is simple—it encourages you to reconnect with all of your senses to ground you in the present moment by putting a stop to your racing thoughts.
You simply need some alone time and just five minutes to complete this task. Start by taking deep, slow breaths, then follow these five steps:
- Tune in on what you Don’t judge the sounds around you—just notice them. Over time, your awareness will cause you to hear even more sounds you may not have noticed before.
- Focus on your sense of Pay attention to the different scents you pick up in your environment. Do not classify them as good or bad, just notice them.
- Open your eyes and focus on Process what you are seeing, paying close attention to the shapes and colors that you notice.
- Switch over to It is easiest if you have something to eat or drink, if not focus on, and pay attention to the sensations in your mouth and tongue and even the saliva in your mouth.
- The final step is Focus on your hands, feet and the rest of your body, noticing where they are touching and what textures they are feeling.
This process should take no more than five minutes, and when you are done, you should feel less anxious and more calm and in-tune with the world around you.
3. Mindful Walking
If you want to practice mindfulness, get outdoors and get a little healthy cardiovascular exercise while you’re at it—mindful walking is for you.
The process is simple. Go on a walk and pay close attention to everything you see.
Take in the world around you. Pay attention to the air, the temperature, the sounds and the smells around you. You will feel a better appreciation for your environment and more calm and at ease when you are done.
4. Three-Minute Breathing Exercise
If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, then a three minute breathing exercise is just for you. Basically sit in place for three minutes and take deep breaths at a consistent pace — being mindful of your surroundings.
5. Mindful Eating Exercise
Mindful eating is something you can do all of the time—and virtually with any meal of the day. The process is simple—whenever you eat, take just one moment before putting food in your mouth to think about what you are eating. As you chew pay attention to the texture, taste and feeling of the food as you allow it to nourish your body.
This will not only help you become more mindful, but will help you develop a healthier relationship with food.
6. Mindful Observation Exercise
This is another very simple, yet very powerful mindfulness exercise, and the great part is—you can do it anywhere. We love this exercise for when you are traveling and still want to get your mindfulness exercises in.
- Choose a natural object from the environment immediately around you. (i.e. a flower or insect)
- Focus on watching it for a minute or two.
- Don’t do anything—just notice the thing you are looking at.
- Relax and watch for as long as your concentration allows.
- Visually examine the object as if you are viewing it for the very first time.
Doing this will allow you to connect with this natural object’s energy and it’s purpose within the natural world.
If you are already a yoga fan, then you are in luck, this famous, ancient form of exercise can also help you with your mindfulness as well.
Next time you go to a yoga class, really pay attention to every pose you do and every breath you take and be aware of the amazing things your body is able to do and how you are able to perform. Yoga is a wonderful form of exercise that is good for the mind, body and spirit.
8. Mindful Hiking
If you are looking for more of a physical challenge, while practicing mindfulness, then why not give mindful hiking a try?
Similar to the practice of mindful walking, this type of hiking encourages you to get out into nature and to really be mindful of the things you see around you, while still getting some mind-clearing, body-pumping exercise.
9. Mindful Task Exercise
Choose a task, it can be as small or as large as you like—even something as simple as wiping off dishes. Pay close attention to the process, what you are doing and be mindful of why you are doing it as well.
It will teach you to be more present and mindful in your everyday life, even when tackling what seem like the simplest of tasks.
10.Mindful Journaling Exercise
Not all mindful exercises have to be physical in nature. Mindful journaling is a great way to practice mindfulness and get your thoughts and feelings out in a more creative manner as well.
11.Mindful Stretching Exercise
Mindful stretching may be similar in nature to yoga, but there are a few significant differences to keep in mind. This stretching exercise should be done first thing in the morning, or right before you go to bed and should only take three minutes.
Stretch areas of your body that tighten during the day. Hold these stretches for at least 30 minutes at a time and breathe deeply as you hold them. Be mindful of what you are stretching and the feel of oxygen rushing through your system as you do it—it will help you learn to be more mindful of your body.
If you are looking to bring more mindfulness into your life, and change your mind and your spirit for the better—then consider these mindfulness exercises. These eleven exercises are easy, effective and able to help you to learn the art of mindfulness.
Take a minute to start incorporating these easy, effective exercises into your daily routine and start seeing the way it changes you for the better.