10 Quick Mindfulness Activities for Adults
Mindfulness arises from a meditation about your feelings and sensations at the moment. But you do not need to meditate to be mindful. Instead, you just need to calm your mind and become intensely aware of your surroundings.
Mindfulness has many proven benefits, including:
- Fewer obsessive thoughts: If you have a tendency to obsess over thoughts or dwell on the past, mindfulness can help to snap you back into the present. Since rumination and dwelling in the past can lead to depression and anxiety, mindfulness can become a self-prescribed antidote to these problems.
- Reduced stress levels: Stress can arise when a situation triggers your fight or flight reaction. This reaction has many physiological effects, including the release of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones subside when your mind relaxes from the fight or flight reaction. Mindfulness can bring you into a calm and peaceful state that relieves stress.
- Improved focus: Mindfulness can help you clear away distracting or irrelevant information. This allows your brain to focus on whatever tasks you need to accomplish.
- Less emotional reactivity: Mindfulness can help you disengage from emotionally upsetting or troubling ideas. By focusing on the here-and-now, mindfulness helps you find the calm of the moment regardless of the turmoil that may surround you.
As a result, mindfulness can help people with stressful jobs, difficult relationships, or troubling problems. Here are ten quick mindfulness activities for adults to try.
Meditation is where quick mindfulness activities for adults start. Meditation is the process of clearing the mind to focus on your emotions and sensations. This process trains you to focus on your body and your mind and helps you achieve emotional and mental clarity.
There are many ways to meditate. Meditation simply requires you to find a setting where you can turn your thoughts inward to a particular concept, like mindfulness, and away from your external problems. For some people, a routine brings about calmness. For these people, meditating before their morning coffee might provide the greatest benefits.
For others, meditation might require a particular setting. For example, a shady tree in their garden might provide the quiet and isolation needed to focus the mind.
But how you meditate is more important than where and when you meditate. Mindfulness meditation requires you to focus your mind on the moment. Some find that focusing on their breathing allows them to bring their mind to each moment as it passes. Others use sensations, such as the breeze blowing across their face or the faint sound of traffic in their ears.
As you focus your mind, your goal is to allow everything else to slip into the background. For example, thoughts about the fight you had with your boss, your impending electric bill, and the pain in your left knee can recede as you focus on the present moment where none of that exists.
Many people use physical activities as one of their quick mindfulness activities for adults. Physical activities give you many instantaneous sensations and feelings to focus the mind. For example, while doing yoga, you can focus on the positioning of your body rather than the living room furniture you cleared for your yoga activities.
Similarly, when you jog or run, you can focus on each step and each breath. As you do, your mind snaps to the present, instead of worrying about work deadlines that are still days away. Even walking meditation allows you to focus your mind on walking instead of all your other distracting thoughts.
Meditating during exercise is aided by your body’s release of hormones. While you exercise, your body releases endorphins and ceases the release of cortisol. Cortisol, the stress hormone, causes your blood pressure to rise and your stomach to constrict as you prepare to fight or flee. Endorphins, the feel-good hormone, fits perfectly into the opiate receptors in your brain to produce a euphoric feeling that gives you a brighter smile and even masks pain.
While in this state, your body is perfectly attuned to allow your mind to turn inward. Your body has no external issues to distract it, which means your mind can focus without any obstacles from your body.
Meditating during physical activity does not even require exercise. For example, mowing the lawn allows you to clear your mind and simply think about creating a perfect pattern that results in a perfectly cut lawn. This kind of mindfulness is brought on by activities that are simple enough that they do not distract the mind. This allows the mind to turn its thoughts inward and focus on the immediate moment without any thoughts that require planning or emotion.
Some examples of mindless chores that allow you to meditate include:
- Cleaning your home: Although this activity can sometimes allow distracting thoughts to intrude, mindless tasks like mopping the floors or wiping the windows can give you time to meditate on your thoughts and sensations as you perform them.
- Scrubbing your jewelry: Although some people might find scraping the gunk from their custom wedding ring to be tedious, it can also give you the time and space to allow your mind to turn inward.
- Weeding the garden: Gardening is well-known for providing meditative opportunities. Pulling weeds, picking up leaves, and raking the soil allows your mind to relax and focus on the here-and-now.
The great benefit of using chores for your quick mindfulness activities for adults is that your chores get done, and you get in some meditation time. This gives you both a cleaner home and a clearer mind.
As you are bombarded with media and entertainment, some time away from electronics can often benefit you and allow you to decompress and focus on the here-and-now. As such, unplugging is one of the easiest and quick mindfulness activities for adults.
Electronics play a critical role in our lives. Whether you use social media to keep in touch with friends and family or video games to entertain and educate your mind, your use of electronics brings you benefits. But at some point, everyone needs time away from electronics. Take a break from trying to get the right technician for work or home and from looking at your social media feed. Instead, try one of these activities:
- Reading: Unfortunately, very few people have the time to read for leisure. But you can always make time for this activity to improve and train your mind. As you read, focus on each concept as you read it. This keeps your mind in the instant moment without straying into external thoughts.
- Coloring: Adult coloring books have become a gateway for many into the world of meditation. Allowing your mind the time and space to simply think about an artistic pattern can help you train your mind to understand your feelings and sensations at the moment.
Many self-care routines give you time to clear your mind for meditation on yourself. Some examples include:
- Brushing your teeth: It may seem strange, but you can meditate and have a brighter smile. Tooth brushing is a repetitive activity that allows you to focus your mind on the instant moment. As you focus on the activity of brushing each tooth and the sensations it creates, your mind is in the present rather than the past or future.
- Shaving: Shaving is so routine that you can do it with your eyes closed. But you can practice mindfulness by simply focusing on the task of shaving. How your hand moves as you shave. The sound of the hairs. The smell of the shaving cream. These sensations help you train your mind on the moment at hand.
- Getting a massage: Many people say that getting a massage allows them to relax and tune out. Although it requires a second person, massage can give you the perfect opportunity to focus on the sensation of getting the massage and the emotions you feel.
Again, the benefit of meditating during self-care is that you can train your mind and improve your body at the same time. This turns self-care from a time-consuming activity into a mind-improving one.
For good or bad, many people spend a lot of idle time in the car. The average commute in the U.S. is 26.6 minutes. This means you probably spend slightly over 50 minutes a day in your car. But this driving time could be one of the least known quick mindfulness activities for adults.
This commuting time is a perfect opportunity to practice mindfulness. If you shut down all the ways you use to distract yourself during your commute, you might find that the quiet, routine process of driving to and from work gives you the time and space to turn your thoughts inward.
The benefit of mindfulness during the daily drive to work or even side trips to the hardware shop is that you may become a better driver. Studies show that mindfulness makes people less temperamental. So, mindfulness can improve your brain and your driving.
7. Enjoy Nature
Nature has always provided some of the best-known quick mindfulness activities for adults. Whether you are hiking, sitting under a bodhi tree, or fishing, the peace of a park, stream, or trail can give your mind the chance to focus on the here-and-now. Some people find nature so important to their physical and mental health that they take out a property lease specifically to spend more time in nature.
Some examples of natural activities that allow you time to practice mindfulness include:
- Fishing: Fishing, particularly fly-fishing, allows you ample time to focus on the present. In fly-fishing, for example, each cast gives you the chance to feel the rod whip, the line stripping in your hands, and the fly landing on the water surface. Focusing on each step in the casting process can help you train your mind to stay in the present. As a bonus, you can use barbless hooks so you can release fish after you catch them.
- Horseback riding: Like hiking or driving, horseback riding allows you to turn idle time into meditation time. Riding a horse allows you to focus on yourself and the horse. Your shared sensations and emotions provide a way to train your mind and focus on the instant.
- Rock climbing: Rock climbing requires enormous concentration. But this concentration is tailor-made for mindfulness. With each move, you have nothing else to focus on except where your feet and hands rest. This is almost the definition of mindfulness.
One of the easy and quick mindfulness activities for adults that most people engage in every day is socializing. Talking to friends can help you focus on your feelings and sensations at the moment. It can also help you appreciate the here-and-now as you allow your problems to drift away. Calling a friend is also a great way to catch up on life’s problems. Perhaps your friend has recently needed to utilize the services of a bail bond company. You can offer your own advice based on what you’ve learned while being more mindful.
Working with your hands always provides an opportunity to practice mindfulness. Many people have lost track of time building something. As a result, building can provide one of the quick mindfulness activities for adults that you practice.
Working with your hands allows you to focus on each task. Whether you are involved in forging swords or air conditioning repair, each step in the process requires focus. Through these tasks, you can train your mind to dwell in the present and ignore all the problems unrelated to your project.
Learning to write is a great skill. Grammar and spelling are important, but what matters is the thoughts. Writing is one of those quick mindfulness activities for adults that allows you to express your thoughts.
Mindful writing puts your thoughts and feelings onto the page. Coupled with meditation, you may create a work that documents each instant in your emotional life.
Summing It Up
Mindfulness has many benefits. Simply finding the time and space to live in the moment can help you bring these benefits into your life.