6 Fun Mindfulness Exercises For Adults
There is more to mindfulness than seated meditation, breathing exercises and visualization.
If you’re looking for something more interesting check out these six fun mindfulness exercises for adults.
1. The 5 Senses Mindfulness Exercise
If you feel stressed or particularly tense, this is one of the most fun mindfulness exercises for adults. It will help you become more grounded when you’re having a tough day.
Finding focus can be extremely difficult, especially when new thoughts keep popping up in your head.
The 5 senses mindfulness exercise will help you return to the present moment and become more mindful.
Before you begin this exercise, put yourself in a comfortable position and start by noticing your breathing.
Do this for a few minutes and try to relax.
The next step is bringing awareness to your senses.
Number one step is hearing.
Start by noticing the sounds around you. Try to find 5 sources of the sounds you hear. You may hear your breathing, a noise from another room, a TV, or from the things happening outside. Just notice what they’re like and don’t try to judge any sound in particular.
Don’t move onto the next step before you identify 5 different sounds.
Number two is smelling.
Close your eyes and try to notice the smells around you.
If you’re outside, you might smell flowers. If you’re indoors, maybe you’ll smell coffee or tea, or perhaps the smell of a magazine or a book. Try to notice at least 3 smells, before moving on to the next step.
Number three is seeing.
Focus on 5 objects in your close environment. Notice the color and the pattern of each object. One really amazing mindfulness exercise is called “window observing”. We have mentioned this in one of our previous posts that you can check out here.
You can sit by your window and observe what’s going on outside. You’ll be surprised how many things are happening without us even realizing it.
Number four is tasting.
If you’re eating or drinking something, try to notice an aftertaste of it in your mouth.
And the last step is touching.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations!
The last step consists of shifting your attention to the sensations of your skin. Notice the feeling on your skin when you’re having a warm shower, the skin contact with clothes or the pressure of your feet when you walk.
That’s it. Next time you feel super overwhelmed, try this exercise. You can set up a timer for 5-10 minutes, but if possible try to do this exercise longer.
2. Mindful Eating
We’ve touched this topic in one of the previous paragraphs but mindful eating is another fun mindfulness exercise for adults.
With the myriad of distractions in our lives, eating mindfully is probably last on our list.
Unfortunately, it is mindless eating that’s typical, especially in the Western culture.
Mindless eating means eating too much, eating when we’re stressed, eating junk food, eating and multitasking etc.
Eating and multitasking is especially common.
For a change, next time you’re having a meal, try to eat mindfully.
Eat slowly, and try to really focus on the taste. It’s not a race. Try to savor and enjoy the food you’re eating. Eating slowly is also better for digestion.
Stop multitasking when you’re eating.
Turn off your TV and leave your mobile to the side. Meals should be free of any electronic devices.
Some other ways of eating mindfully also include stopping when you’re full, eating healthy foods and being aware of where your food comes from.
If you want to make this exercise more interesting, try a new dish and discover its taste. You can visit a new restaurant or prepare something on your own.
3. Adult Coloring Books
Adult coloring books are one of the most interesting anti-stress tools. They can also unleash your creativity and help you focus on one task which is proven to diminish the effects of stress and anxiety.
Meditation can be difficult for beginners so adult coloring books are a great way to start practicing mindfulness.
In today’s society, we often feel perplexed by the paradox of choice, which makes us very stressed.
Adult coloring books help us focus on one single task. You choose how you’re gonna color something and what the end result will be.
Art therapy has been proved to be successful in treating stress and anxiety, especially among older people.
So why not try it yourself? Who knows, maybe you’ll discover some hidden artistic potential. 🙂
If you like nature, you can get Art of Mindfulness Landscapes coloring book by Joe Bright.
4. Mindful Listening Exercise
The average person remembers only 25% of what they’ve heard in a conversation. Our minds keep wandering in different directions. Very often, you’ll find yourself in a group conversation in which you’re not even sure what the main topic is about.
This happens quite frequently to all of us.
Mindful listening has numerous benefits.
It can increase your empathy and deepen your relationships with other people, increase self-awareness, and improve your focus.
You’ll probably want to become a better listener. 🙂
However, there are more fun mindfulness exercises you can try when it comes to improving your listening skills.
You can start with music or podcasts.
Put on a random playlist and pay attention to the lyrics of the songs.
You can also try podcasts.
They are a wonderful source of information. We’ve compiled a post on 16 best self-improvement podcasts you need to check out and at the same time practice mindful listening.
Lay down, put your headphones on and enjoy.
5. Mindful Walking
Mindful walking is ideal for those people who spend a lot of time in the office and in front of their PCs.
Walking is a fantastic physical activity that requires you to be conscious about your environment.
All you need are comfortable shoes! If you can walk in the nature and breathe clean air even better.
Notice how your body feels when you’re moving, and breathe deep. Try not to let your mind wander, just be present and focus on the sole activity of walking.
You can also extend your focus to the sounds and things that happen around you.
Walk at a normal pace and don’t try to rush it.
To make this exercise more interesting, you can go and explore a totally new neighborhood.
6. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Anxiety and stress can cause a muscular tension that very often goes unnoticed.
You may hold the tension in your shoulders, neck, or face. Another common thing is holding your breath which makes it more shallow.
Progressive muscle relaxation is one of the best techniques for combating stress.
The whole point is to purposely tense your muscles and then relax them. This helps you notice which muscles are the tensest and where you typically hold the tension in the body.
This technique was developed in 1929 by professor Edmund Jacobson. It has proven to be especially effective in treating insomnia and diminishing the effects of stress and anxiety.
The team behind Anxiety BC created a fantastic PDF file, with a step-by-step guide on how to do progressive muscle relaxation. If you’re interested in trying it out, you can access it here.