20 Mindfulness Exercises For Your Life

Mindfulness

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the psychological ability to experience current moments in everyday life with full awareness and without judgment. 

This includes the conscious experience of your own feelings, thoughts, body and the external environment. 

With mindfulness exercises, you can train this ability and ensure a better quality of life. They help you to deal better with stress and conflict situations, act more self-determined and live healthier all round.

You surely know the feeling: Even though you are physically present, you are mentally on another star. You are mentally more often in the past or in the future than in the here and now. The fun and conscious experience of everyday situations are completely lost.

But the simplicity of life often ensures little happiness: a lovingly prepared meal, a nice chat with a friend or the little flowers in your garden, which you haven’t paid attention to for a long time.

Do you remember your childhood?

You probably have to admit to yourself that you were simply more curious and happier. It was not difficult for you to get enthusiastic about small things. With mindfulness exercises you can train these properties again and experience inner and outer experiences with all your senses.

How mindfulness can positively affect your psyche

Companies like Google, Apple or Procter & Gamble have long recognized the importance of mindfulness for a happy and successful corporate culture. 

Mindfulness workshops and meditation breaks are therefore part of the company offer to sustainably strengthen the performance and health of employees.

Studies on mindfulness

Numerous studies have shown that mindfulness can lead to increased well-being. 

According to Professor Willem Kuyken of Oxford Unviersity, mindfulness exercises specifically relieve depression and symptoms of mental illness.

Other studies also show that mindfulness therapies for anxiety disorders and even chronic pain can help – often as well as drug treatments.

If you ponder a lot in everyday life and are worried, you can use mindfulness exercises to fight the negative spiral of thought and reduce stress.

A study by Chambers (2009) examined 20 meditation beginners who took part in a ten-day meditation course. At the end of the course, they had significantly fewer depressive symptoms and brooded less than the control group. They also had a better ability to concentrate .

What are the benefits of mindfulness exercises for your everyday life?

  • You have more control over your thoughts. For example, you reduce negative thoughts, let go of them faster and think more positively.
  • You are mentally more often in the here and now.
  • You feel more autonomous and are less influenced by external factors.
  • You prevent or alleviate depressive symptoms.
  • You have a clearer view of your life.
  • You reduce physical complaints sustainably, because you pay attention to your body.
  • You work more concentrated, conscientious and productive.
  • You get less stress.
  • You feel more comfortable and are completely satisfied.
  • You build better relationships with your fellow human beings, because you are simply more present and your empathy is improved through mindfulness.

Here are the best mindfulness exercises for your life. Make sure , if you feel depressed or lack of self confidence , these will help you gain back positivity.

20 brilliant mindfulness exercises

1. Taste food with all your senses

Taste food for mindfulness

Are you one of those people for whom eating is a minor matter? Perhaps you eat your meal more often at your desk while you “eat” emails with your other brain.

It is true: eating is a need, enjoying is an art. But for many people, food remains just a necessity.

In addition to lack of exercise, it is the unconscious eating behavior that drives many to become overweight. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the average BMI in people is 26.8.  In 70 countries, the percentage of obese people has even doubled since 1980 to 2020.

To prevent health risks, you should therefore take your food carefully. These mini tips can help you:

  • Allow enough time for your meal
  • Cook mostly fresh and choose your own food
  • Avoid multitasking while eating
  • Chew at least 20-30 times before swallowing your food. This ensures better digestion and an excellent taste experience
  • In your mouth, consciously feel the consistency of your meals
  • Try to guess the ingredients if you haven’t cooked yourself
  • After half the meal, put your cutlery aside and feel whether you are already full
  • Consciously stop eating as soon as you are full
  • Be the last one to eat with your work colleagues or friends
  • Make yourself aware of your thoughts as you eat

2. Keep a notebook for your weekly review

Ever heard this famous quote? “The purest form of madness is to leave everything as it is and at the same time hope that something changes.”

Our well-known genius Albert Einstein once made this very accurate statement. This is exactly what self-reflection is about. 

It helps you to reflect on your current situation in life, to achieve your goals and to strive precisely for the life you want.

13 questions you can ask yourself when looking back at the week:

  • What have been my successes this week?
  • What have I learned this week?
  • What were my greatest moments of happiness?
  • What could I have done better this week? How can I improve next week?
  • What are the most important thoughts at the moment?
  • What is currently causing me dissatisfaction and how can I change it?
  • How satisfied was I on a scale from 1 to 10?
  • Have I cared enough for my body and my wellbeing? For example, have I slept, drunk, or nourished enough? Did I take time for myself?
  • Which tasks are currently consuming too much time? Which tasks do I enjoy and which none?
  • What am I most afraid of or what am I avoiding?
  • What big goal do I want to achieve next week? Does it help me with my long-term goals?
  • Have I lived in line with my values ​​and my authentic path?
  • Did I do something during the week that I will remember for a long time?

This is one of my favorite mindfulness exercises to always have a connection to my “self”. 

Because often we are distracted by external influences from our true self and stray from our authentic path.

3. Write down your thoughts every day

Write your thoughts for mindfulness

Take a short moment in everyday life and write down your thoughts. Since, often our thoughts are unconscious.

How are you feeling right now? Which thoughts take up the most space today? Intuitively write down what comes to mind.

With this mindfulness exercise you train your thoughts sustainably. It also helps you to break out of a negative spiral of thoughts if necessary.

  • Watch your words, for they become actions. 
  • Pay attention to your actions because they become habits. 
  • Watch your habits, for they become your character. 
  • Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

Mental training is very important because your thoughts ultimately create your reality. With your thoughts you pull into life what you imagine.

4. Perform everyday activities consciously

Have you ever noticed how many everyday activities we do automatically and hardly pay attention to them anymore?

We can already find so much enjoyment in everyday activities – if we only take the time to do it consciously.

  • When you take a shower, for example, feel the warm water on your body and the pleasant tingling sensation on your scalp. 
  • If you drive a car, consciously take your foot off the accelerator and pay more attention to your surroundings. 
  • Take enough time while shopping and think about what you really need.

5. Listen to people consciously

Listening is not the same as listening. Many people are distracted during conversations and elsewhere with their thoughts. Either they are already thinking of an answer and are somewhere else with their attention span. Or they digress completely.

  • During your next conversation, be sure to fully engage in the conversation and listen not only with your ears but also with your heart.
  • Try to be more interactive with the other person. 
  • Feel how that person is feeling right now. 
  • You will see that the conversations will have more depth and your conversation partner will also open up a lot more.

6. Rediscover your surroundings with a photographic eye

mindfulness and surroundingd

Do you think you know your surroundings inside out? Do you like to travel far to discover new things?

There is certainly a lot of undiscovered beauty in your immediate vicinity if you only walk through the world with open eyes and hearts. 

A camera can help you explore the world with new eyes. Because you give small details much more attention and look at things from a different perspective.

Create a photo album on your laptop on which you upload a new picture every day. 

With this mindfulness exercise you will consciously pay much more attention to your surroundings!

7. Make sure you are in good posture

It is a nice mindfulness exercise for body and soul to always pay attention to good posture. Sounds simple, but we often neglect them in everyday life. 

For example, when we work in the office and are deeply involved in our work. Then we often sit in the round back at the desk.

The solution for good posture at the desk?

In the office, an ergonomic workplace can help you maintain good posture. 

For example, a height-adjustable desk can be optimally adjusted to your height and you can even switch between sitting and standing positions.

An effective exercise against falling shoulders

If your shoulders slide forward again automatically, do the exercise shown in the illustration. 

This ensures a better posture, in which the shoulders remain in a healthy position.

With this thought always in an upright posture

Another trick for good posture: Imagine you have a thread attached to your head and someone is pulling you up on that thread. 

You will automatically walk much more upright. 

Also keep in mind that an upright posture just looks more attractive and at the same time ensures a better mood. 

Because it has been scientifically proven that posture affects your mood.

Also check this link for more info on sitting postures.

8. Take regular breaks

Breaks at work are important to give the body and mind relaxation. You fill up with new energy, process what you have learned or during certain events and thus simply remain more productive in the long term.

Did you know that after about 70 to 80 minutes of focus work at the latest, your body switches to relaxation for about 20 minutes? T

You can find more information in the article here

Breaks are also great for getting some exercise! 

9. Increase your mindfulness with (guided) meditation

Yale University researchers found that meditation reduces activities of the Default Mode Network (DMN).

These are areas in the brain that become active when you do nothing. In this state we often jump from thought to thought, which tends to make us more dissatisfied due to excessive brooding.

Find a quiet place for your mediation routine. If you have never meditated, it is best to start with a guided meditation.

Relax with an acupressure mat and relieve back pain

Do you want to feel your back better and relieve symptoms? With an acupressure mat you can switch off from everyday life, close your eyes for a moment and get rid of back pain.

This is a traditional Chinese method that is also recommended by doctors and physiotherapists for pain relief in the back!

10. Clear out your apartment

Does it look like hempels under the sofa?

Do you have more than necessary at home? Do you find it difficult to separate yourself from things, even if you are slowly sinking into chaos?

Then it’s time to clear out again!

Materialistic beliefs tend to make you more unhappy. 

Helga Dittmar, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Sussex in the UK, summarized 151 studies from the period 1980 – 2013 to investigate the connection between materialism and well-being. 

In doing so, she came to the conclusion that the psyche, self-esteem and feeling of health in materialistic people are weakened.[11]

Here are a few tips to make clearing out easier for you:

  • For each item, ask yourself whether it makes you feel good or takes up more space
  • Separate yourself from things that you are not sure if you still need them
  • Say goodbye to items that you haven’t used in over a year
  • Discard things you didn’t even notice existed
  • Instead of throwing away your items, donate them to a non-profit organization (e.g. to the DRK or Oxfam), get rid of them on a platform (there are certainly numerous Facebook groups on the subject of selling / giving away in your area) or get rid of them at a flea market

It will surely feel good to leave a few things against. A mindfulness exercise that frees you from unnecessary ballast. By clearing out regularly you also create symbolic order in your brain.

11. Exercise more consciously with yoga

Yoga for mindfulness

Physical complaints often stem from the fact that we pay too little attention to our body. 

With yoga, you consciously pay attention to every part of your body and sustainably improve your body awareness. In addition, you are also doing something good for your mind.

Here are some science-proven positive aspects of yoga on your well-being.

  • Yoga permanently reduces stress and can even alleviate anxiety disorders or depression.
  • Yoga has an anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Yoga improves your heart health. Practicing also lowers your blood pressure.
  • Yoga can relieve chronic pain (proven to be associated with carpal tunnel syndrome and osteoarthritis).
  • Yoga helps with sleep problems because practicing stimulates the production of the sleep hormone melatonin
  • Yoga improves flexibility and balance
  • Since yoga also trains conscious breathing, it improves breathing and lung function. It can also improve asthma.
  • Yoga helps against migraines and headaches.

12. Treat yourself with digital detox regularly

Social media and the overwhelming flow of information on the Internet create stress and excessive demands. 

A good mindfulness exercise is therefore to consciously put the smartphone away and spend an internet-free time.

To do this, set certain times of the day when you do not need your smartphone: for example, one hour before bedtime or immediately after getting up.

Also set a smartphone-free/ Tv-free/ laptop-free day. Organize some parties so that you are happy with friends to make things more pleasant!

With the digital detox you suddenly have so much more time to pay attention to other things!

13. Concentrate on your current activity

This great mindfulness exercise can help you to make everyday activities even more conscious:

Describe in detail your current activity. 

For example:

I’m sitting on a deck chair in the sun. 

The sun feels particularly warm and pleasant on my skin. I see small points of light in front of my eyes because the light is so bright. 

The air smells pleasantly of summer. I perceive the smell of the basil plant on my balcony particularly intensely.

14. Trace things you see

Take a drawing pad and pen and sit somewhere outside. Now paint things you encounter. 

This allows you to recognize numerous details that you might not have noticed before.

By tracing things, you pay much more attention to everyday things.

15. Color mandalas for mindfulness

Science has long shown that mandala coloring is an efficient technique to focus on the present, to organize our thoughts and to reduce stress. 

As early as the beginning of the 19th century, psychoanalyst Carl Jung Mandalas integrated into his therapy sessions. 

The result: coloring mandalas helped patients to process post-traumatic experiences and to better resolve conflicts.

Mandala coloring is therefore one of the most frequently used mindfulness exercises and is becoming more and more popular. Because the artistic activity requires your full attention, patience and time. So perfect to provide some relaxation!

16. Listen to the sounds of nature

Take a walk in the forest and consciously listen to the sounds of nature. This will help you learn to focus better. 

But you are also doing something good for your health: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), you should walk at least 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy.

17. Keep a gratitude diary

Mindfulness and gratitude

Gratitude brings so much mindfulness to your life. You consciously direct your focus to the positive and thereby ensure more fullness in your life.

Because our brain is designed to remember negatives and pay more attention to them than positives. 

From now on, turn the tables by writing down something you are thankful for every day. 

For example, for today’s sunshine, for the nice neighbor who smiled at you today or the funny friend with whom you can always steal horses.

I can highly recommend something to write everyday. 

There you can write down three things every day for which you are grateful, note a positive affirmation every day and reflect on your day. Incredibly helpful to train positive thinking!

18. Feel your breath for mindfulness

The way you breathe affects your psyche and vice versa. Pay attention to your breathing: Do you take long and deep or short and quick breaths?

Short and hectic breaths are often caused by stress . Shortness of breath prevents enough oxygen from getting into your body and can lead to numerous health complaints. 

Long and deep breaths, on the other hand, can prevent stress and provide relaxation.Did you know that an adult breathes in and out about 12 to 18 times within a minute? 

In contrast, in a child it is 16 to 25 times.

Keep breathing, stay healthy!

19. Mindfulness through conscious speaking

How many filler words do you use in everyday life? These include, for example, “um, actually, somehow, um”.

These make listening extremely difficult – at least if you use them too often. That is not to say that they are bad. 

Sometimes they can help us spin our thoughts. But they also signal insecurity if you use them too often.

Slang can also be fun. But be careful in which situations you use them. Because this can also quickly leave a clumsy impression.

Now speak more consciously. Because language says a lot about your personality.

20. Brace your surroundings

Are you one of those people who occasionally like to watch the goings-on on the street?

If not, give it a try: sit on a bench on a busier street and enjoy the hustle and bustle around you. 

How do people behave and what is happening right now? Do you discover new things?

Watching with a friend is more fun. Surely you also know the game “I see something you don’t see” from your childhood. Alternately, you look for one object while the other guesses which one it is.

With this playful exercise you increase your attention for the moment and discover your surroundings with open eyes.

Conclusion:

Mindfulness exercises are easy to integrate into everyday life and lead to a better quality of life and a conscious experience of the present in the long term

I hope you enjoyed the mindfulness exercises. First try one or two points and gradually increase your awareness of the present. See you soon!

About the Author Sophia

Sophia have studied at Medical University in Michigan and have good experience in the field of human behavior and psychiatry. She is also working as a researcher in well know medical industry.

Leave a Comment: