As you may already know, mindfulness is the art of developing a higher mental state by focusing on and accepting one’s thoughts, feelings, and surroundings.
It is one of the core characteristics of spirituality and an essential skill to developing a more happy and fulfilled life.
In addition, mindfulness practices are known to improve a variety of health issues from stress, to chronic pain, to lack of sleep.
As adults, however, we often overlook the power of mindfulness. We think, “I don’t have time for that,” or “that won’t work for me,” at times when we could use it the most.
If you’re looking to begin your mindfulness journey but are unsure of where to start, you’re in the right place.
In this blog, we’ve laid out a variety of beginner mindfulness exercises that you can try. The best part? All of them can be done from virtually anywhere and require no more than 5 minutes of your time.
Beginner Mindfulness Activities
Daily Mantra Repetition
Mantras are simple phrases, statements, or sounds that can be used throughout the day to realign your energy and focus your mind. You can pick a single word, like “peace” or a phrase like “my mind is brilliant,” to help you set an intention.
Dedicate a few minutes each morning to repeating your mantra in a quiet, comfortable space. With just a few minutes each day, you’ll begin to feel your perspective shift.
Similar to mantras, affirmations are words or phrases that can be used to instill positive energy and mindset within you. Think of an affirmation as a compliment that you’re giving to yourself. The point is to enhance your positivity and inner strength, so be as flattery as possible.
Here are a few affirmations you may use for inspiration. Find a few moments each day to repeat them to yourself. Or, you may want to write it down on paper for further reflection.
- “I am calm, focused, and I can do whatever I put my mind to.”
- “I align myself with pure, positive energy.”
- “Today, I acknowledge my worries and let them go.”
Breathe work is an easy, yet powerful way to begin practicing mindfulness. There are countless exercises to help one focus on their breath.
For this piece, we’ll focus on box breathing, or the 4×4 method, as a very simple approach to get you started.
- First, find a comfortable seated position without distractions.
- Next, take a full deep inhale for a count of 4 seconds.
- Hold all the air in your lungs for a count of 4.
- Exhale fully for a total of 4 seconds.
- Rest for 4 seconds.
It’s that simple. Repeat this cycle for around 5 minutes each day to reap the full benefits.
Journaling is a great way to begin your mindfulness journey as it implements structure and routine.
By putting your thoughts and feelings into a physical form, you are allowing yourself a moment to step back and reflect on them.
Gratitude journaling in particular is one of the best ways to practice mindfulness. This is because it reminds us of the positivity that already does exist in our lives.
Here are a very prompts to get you started. There are no rules as to how you approach the prompts. Just chose one and give ourselves 5 minutes to write whatever comes to mind.
- Write down one good thing that happened to you this week
- List 5 things you feel grateful for right now.
- Think of the hardest time in your life, and write down how it is better now.
- Write a story about a time you went to a beautiful place.
- How can you continue to be more thankful?
With these techniques, you’ll be on your way to living a more mindful life before you know it.
If you wish to continue your journey with more specific exercises, we’ve laid out a few of our favorite Rick Hanson techniques in a blog post here.