By now, we’ve all heard that mindfulness, the state of being aware of the present moment nonjudgmentally, can be attained through meditation. We also know that there are a billion different ways to meditate, such as through breathwork, visualization, mantras and even yoga. Going hand in hand with mindfulness is journaling. A lot of students find it beneficial to write down their experiences and reflect on them later. But, did you know that there are a ton of other ways to be mindful?
Here’s a list of ten fun ways to get a little more mindfulness in your life today:
1. Coloring– Coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. Many adults have taken to this youthful activity to relieve stress and clear their mind. So grab a book, some markers or crayons, and chill out. You don’t even have to stay inside the lines if you don’t want to! Check online for a variety of coloring books catered to the adult audience. Or you can grab a note book and pen and start doodling today.
2. Crafting– If you can imagine it, you can create it! From jewelry making, to knitting, to woodworking, to origami and beyond, crafting is a great way to focus on what you’re doing in the present moment. You can even buy crafting kits with supplies and instructions. You’re never too old to create something new!
3. Star Gazing– This is a great way to be mindful for many reasons but namely because it’s free! When the sun goes down, step outside, look up, and enjoy! Nothing brings your mind back to the present moment better than cool night air. Even if it’s cold out, you can still gaze up for one or two minutes. Sometimes that’s all it takes to do a mental reset.
4. Indoor Gardening– Now that it is winter in my region of the country, gardening outside is closed. But, gardening all together doesn’t have to be. Watching a plant sprout from a tiny little seed is an amazing process. It certainly invokes a sense of awe and wonder for our creator. You can start today by obtaining a fruit or vegetable seed. Or if you prefer something specific, there are plenty of indoor gardening kits you can find at your local hardware store or general store.
5. Mini Zen Rock Garden– Zen Rock Gardens, or dry gardens, are areas of landscape decorated with sand, rocks, moss, and/or statues. They have been used in ancient Zen Buddhist traditions to invoke a sense of calm and relaxation. You can create (or purchase) your own mini Zen Rock Garden to experience these same sensations. Many people enjoy raking the sand or just gazing upon it.
6. Model Building- This falls along the lines of crafting and creativity and can put you in a real calm, focused headspace. There are a ton of model building projects that you can put together that are well suited for adults of any age. Some popular ones are actions figures, vehicles, landscapes, buildings, and more. Discover what you can build today!
7. Mini-Exercise or Mini-Stretch– Ok, this one is real simple. In fact, I invite you to do it right now! Just take a moment to engage in stretching your neck, shoulders, hands or doing a little squat or bicep curl. This mini-movement is a great way to focus on the now while being active.
8. Puzzle or Word Search– Problem solving is done best when you give it your full concentration. Puzzles and words searches or word games are a great way to hone your focus and attention in on one thing. And you get a great accomplishment to enjoy when you are done.
9. Engage with animals– Anyone who has a pet can attest to the great joy a bond with them has. But even if you don’t have a pet, you can engage with animals in a variety of ways. Visit your local pet shop and cruise the adoption ready pets for a quick meet and greet. If staying home is more your pace, visit virtual tours of zoos from around the country or world. Also, there are tons of great animal documentaries out there to enjoy as well.
10. Examine Art– Have you ever taken the time to explore a piece of art? I mean really examine it? Next time you see a piece of art that moves you, take the time to examine it fully. Notice the details. Look close. Look from far away. Allow yourself to get lost in the work.
No matter if you use your attention to be active, enjoy art or solve a problem, be there fully. Allow the world to fall away and just be present with what you are doing. If you get distracted, that’s ok. Return and pick back where you left off! As you go you’ll find new ways to be mindful in your everyday life. What’s on your mindful activity list?