50 Easy and Fun Mindfulness Practices to Help You Become More Mindful in Everyday Life
I'll be honest- when I first started practicing mindfulness, it wasn't high on my priorities list! There always felt like there was so much else to do and I was always running out of time.
I get it! You have a demanding job, or a busy family life, or a lot on your plate. It's hard enough to find the time to eat breakfast, let alone develop (and actually stick to!) a formal mindfulness practice.
However, the more I practiced mindfulness, the more I realised I could actually integrate it into my life in simple, interesting and fun ways (some of which didn't even take any extra time at all!).
Plus, I've created a beautiful and easy-to-use checklist you can download, print off and use as a reminder to be mindful each day!
1. Take a mindful shower by paying attention to the temperature of the water and the sensation of it falling on to your skin.
2. Use a scented product (such as moisturiser, perfume, hair spray etc) and tune in to your sense of smell for a few seconds.
3. Do a breathing practice. Bonus tip: Set a password you use regularly to remind you to take a deep breath, for example DeepBreath1.
4. Give someone you love a big hug and immerse yourself in the experience. Does it make you feel safe and loved? Is the other person warm and gentle? Notice their arms wrapped around you.
5. Go for a mindful walk by noticing and acknowledging as many different colours as you can find.
6. Listen to a song and try to pick out the different instruments, hear the rises and falls of the voice and notice how the song makes you feel.
7. Connect with someone on social media. Take a break from the mindless scrolling and connect with someone by leaving a thoughtful comment on their photo.
8. As you wash the dishes, pay attention to the warmth of the water, the slippery soap and the weight of the dishes in your hands.
9. Acknowledge a feeling. At any given moment, ask yourself how you’re feeling right now (without labelling the feeling as good or bad!).
10. Notice the weather. Can you feel the sunshine on your skin, or see drops of rain on the window?
11. Brush your teeth mindfully by tasting the flavour of the toothpaste, feeling the bristles of your toothbrush and paying attention to the movement of the brushing motion.
12. Make a conscious choice. Do you always order the same type of food when you eat out? Try making a conscious decision by asking yourself what you actually feel like eating.
13. Wear a piece of mindful jewellery and each time it catches your attention, take one deep breath.
14. Practice gratitude by taking a few moments each day to notice three things you can be grateful for.
15. Stretch your body and observe the sensation of lengthening or releasing tension. Bonus tip: Try yin yoga for a gentle and immersive stretching experience.
16. Become a more mindful listener by genuinely listening when other people are talking to you. Try to avoid multi-tasking and practice active listening skills, such as reflecting and paraphrasing.
17. Use a herb or spice in your meals and notice the aroma and flavour it provides.
18. Urge surf. Trying to break a habit? Notice when the urge arrives and explore how long you can feel it before acting on it. Sometimes, the urge will pass completely and you’ll discover how to use urge surfing to break the habit altogether!
19. Cloud watch.
20. Understand your self-talk. Are you holding yourself back from doing something you’d love to do? Notice the stories you’re telling yourself and try to understand them more. Are they true? Are they realistic? Is there another story you could tell yourself which might inspire, encourage, or support you?
21. Let go of judgement in situations you normally perceive as “negative.” Caught in the rain? Feeling embarrassed? Smelling something undesirable? Hearing loud or disruptive noises? Can you let go of your judgement and experience the situation in its simple form (just as an experience, rather than something bad).
22. Be aware of the moment as you climb into your bed at night. Is it comfortable? Warm? Inviting? Relaxing? Let go of any other thoughts and simply pay attention to that moment.
23. Drink water mindfully by noticing the weight and texture of your cup, the temperature of the water in your mouth and how it feels in your body.
24. Use a mindful colouring book.
25. Give yourself a massage or pampering treatment (such as a pedicure or face mask). Whenever you notice your mind wandering, gently bring it back to the present moment and sink into the sensations of the massage or treatment.
26. Journal mindfully by taking a few minutes to write down everything important to you in that moment, or what you can notice around you.
27. Choose a mindful morning activity (yoga, listening to music, drinking a cup of tea or coffee, eating breakfast, meditating, going for a walk) and incorporate it into your daily routine.
28. Do a body scan.
29. Spend some time near water and watch it. Water can have a relaxing, meditative quality and can help us quieten our thoughts and be more mindful. Visit the beach, a river, a lake, or a creek and notice the movement and flow of the water. Bonus tip: Look at Google maps and you might be surprised to discover bodies of water nearby, which you didn’t even know existed!
30. Buy yourself a bunch of flowers to keep in your home. Whenever they catch your eye, take a moment to appreciate their colours and form.
31. Once a week, challenge yourself to go on a mindful adventure- a date with yourself (or someone you care about) to have a unique or different experience. Adventures like this can often help us become present as we come off autopilot and have opportunities to experience new and unexpected things.
32. When you wake up, set yourself an intention to be mindful and present throughout your day.
33. Be conscious of what you agree to! Time is precious and many of us love to say yes to extra commitments (even when we truly want to say no). Try being more assertive and only say yes when you genuinely want to.
34. Close your eyes and listen to all the sounds around you.
35. Smile! Observe how it feels.
36. Pay attention to your hands. The go through so many different movements and it can be really interesting to watch them in action.
37. Practice mindfulness while you lie in bed at night. Bring your mind back to the present moment when it wanders and utilise simple mindfulness techniques, such as mindful breathing or meditating.
38. Light a candle and watch the flame.
39. Cook mindfully by paying attention to the different processes, such as chopping, stirring, opening containers, pouring, lifting and serving.
40. Remove the rush. Ever been frustrated and overwhelmed by waiting in line or getting caught in traffic? There isn’t often much we can do in these situations and it can be a relief to remove the pressure we put on ourselves. Remind yourself that you’ll get to where you need to be as soon as you can and the practice calming yourself down with some deep breaths.
41. Use a mindfulness app, such as Calm.
42. Become grounded by taking off your shoes and socks and pay attention to the connection between your feet and the solid ground beneath you.
43. Laugh! There’s something truly cathartic about laughing and the way it helps us let go everything else. Bonus tip: Attend a laughter class if you’re finding it difficult to do this practice on your own.
44. Decorate your work or living space with a meaningful quote. Whenever you notice it, let the words resonate with you and bring meaning into that moment.
45. Watch the sunrise (or sunset). Notice the colours, the patterns in the sky, how you feel and the light.
46. Place your hands over your heart and feel it beating.
47. Look around you and list ten things you can see.
48. Open and close doors mindfully. Rather than letting a door slam shut behind you, be intentional with your actions and close it gently. Bonus tip: Focus on opening and closing doors as quietly as possible to turn this mindfulness practice into a small game.
49. Be a mindful commuter. Notice what is going on around you and if you travel the same route regularly, see if you can find anything new or different each time you travel.
50. Listen to a podcast about mindfulness, such as my podcast, The Mindful Kind, for even more mindfulness inspiration!