12 Effortless Mindfulness Activities For Adults That Will Improve Your Daily Routine
As you practice mindfulness regularly, it will become a habit and won’t feel like such a big effort.
Researched, written by Amber & The Team
Updated on July 18, 2023
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Recalling a happy memory or looking forward to a future event are normal and healthy experiences.
However, delving deep into the past or the future can cause you to miss out on what’s happening at the present moment.
Also, it can often result in you becoming stressed or upset.
Being too emotionally caught up in events you can no longer change or scenarios that haven’t or may not even occur isn’t healthy for anyone.
To counter these negative thoughts, it’s best to engage in mindfulness activities for adults.
Practicing mindfulness means you stay aware of the present moment and focus on what’s happening right here and now.
When you practice mindfulness, it can help you reduce anxiety brought about by worrying about the past or the future.
It helps put stressful situations into perspective and develops your resilience so you’re less likely to be overwhelmed by similar events in the future.
Mindfulness also helps you to maintain good relationships because you learn to be fully present for others.
Generally, doing mindfulness activities supports you in leading a happy and meaningful life.
If you want to experience the benefits of mindfulness, there are many different mindfulness activities for adults that you can incorporate into your daily routine.
Many of them require little effort, and as you practice doing them regularly, they can become good habits.
To give you a few ideas, here are some examples of mindfulness practices you can do.
Life-Improving Mindfulness Activities For Adults
1. Practice Gratitude
One of the simplest mindfulness activities for adults (that can be done daily) is practicing gratitude.
Often, people are filled with worries and busy themselves with looking for solutions for their challenges.
While it’s good to be proactive, dwelling on your worries can make you forget about the good things that are also happening in your life at the same time.
Consciously recognizing the positive aspects of your life helps to bring you back to the present moment instead of leaving you constantly worrying about the future or replaying the past.
When it comes to practicing gratitude, different people have varied ways of doing it.
Some individuals keep a gratitude journal they write in every day while others offer a thankful prayer to the universe or a divine being.
If you are Muslim, you might find some wisdom in the Quran, which you can read using the Muslim Pro app.
2. Focus On Your Breathing
Another helpful practice when looking into mindfulness activities for adults is to focus on your breath.
Although breathing is an involuntary automatic process, bringing your attention to each inhale and exhale can let your mind focus better.
It also helps calm you down when you’re in a stressful situation.
You can do this mindfulness practice multiple times and at any time of the day.
Inhale deeply and notice how your chest rises with each breath.
Slowly release as much air as you can when you exhale.
Repeat these steps three times and see how relaxed and better you feel after.
3. Enjoy Each Bite
A lot of people have become so used to mindless eating that it’s become a habit.
It’s very common to eat while you work or watch videos online, which keeps your attention off your food.
This practice can lead to different health issues, such as overeating and consuming too much sugary food or drinks.
On the other hand, mindful eating – one of the most popular mindfulness activities for adults – means paying more attention to what’s on your plate.
Chew your food slower and savor every bite.
Doing this doesn’t just let you appreciate your meals, but also allows you to digest food better, which helps your body get more vitamins and nutrients, as well as prevent digestive issues, such as bloating and indigestion.
So during your next meal, remember to put your phone down and remove all other possible distractions.
Instead, stay present as you eat your food.
Relish each and every bite.
Stop eating when you begin to feel like you’re almost full so that all the food has enough time to reach your stomach and you don’t consume more than what you need.
When you’re intentional about your eating habits, you also become more aware of your body so you’re able to take better care of it.
4. Actively Listen to Others
When your partner, child, or co-worker is talking to you, make sure to be present in the conversation.
Resist the urge to start mentally formulating your response because it actually causes you to tune out about half of what the other person is saying.
As a result, you don’t hear or get to process the entire message.
The next time someone speaks to you, give your full attention to what they’re saying instead of coming up with a great rebuttal.
When you practice active listening – one of the more effortless mindfulness activities for adults – you become more aware of what the other person is talking about.
It will improve the quality of your conversations and relationships because people will appreciate being heard and understood.
5. Pause for a Moment throughout the Day
If you’re like other busy individuals, you know it can be challenging to stay mindful throughout the day.
One of the more popular mindfulness activities for adults is slowing down and pausing for a moment at some point in your day, even if it’s just for a while.
To get you into the habit of pausing, spend a few minutes at certain times of the day to be mindful.
You can time it together with your usual actions, like whenever you get into your car or go on break.
You can also schedule specific mindfulness exercises such as meditating and practicing yoga into your day.
By deliberately being mindful, you ensure you get the benefits of the practice.
6. Scan Your Body
If you’re looking for mindfulness activities for adults that incorporate meditation techniques, body scan might be the one for you.
Body scanning is commonly used in various meditation practices and is aimed at helping individuals develop non-judgemental awareness of their body.
It’s practiced by mentally scanning your body from top to bottom, noting areas that are exhibiting certain physical sensations, such as tension, relaxation, tingling, or warmth.
The most important part of the practice is not trying to change anything about the sensations – you only need to observe and accept them, and move on.
Body scanning can really help to teach you how to be more present in a given moment, especially when it comes to your physical sensations.
For people who struggle a lot with health anxiety, body scanning can be very grounding, as not only does it simply help you relax, but it also involves accepting the state that your body is currently in.
7. Take a Mindful Walk
If you consider yourself an active person and you’re seeking mindfulness activities for adults that would incorporate physical activity, you’ll probably like mindful walking.
A lot of times when we go out on walks, we either call a friend to chat, or listen to something with our headphones on.
Otherwise, the walk can start to seem a little boring.
However, that also means that we’re not really present in the given moment – we don’t notice the sounds around us and we probably don’t take in the scenery to its full extent.
Next time you go on a walk, try to leave your headphones at home and refrain from calling anyone on the phone.
Just walk; notice how your feet and the ground beneath them feel, how your body feels while taking the steps, feel the wind on your skin, and listen to your surroundings.
If it seems daunting at first, opt to take a short walk and remember – you can always go home if it gets boring or uncomfortable for whatever reason.
Mindful walking can really help one to destress and it promotes general mindfulness.
It’s simple and easy to accomplish, although it might require a little bit more time out of your day than the above-mentioned mindfulness activities for adults.
However, if you’re an active person and you go on walks regularly either way, this mindfulness practice might be the perfect fit for you.
8. Try Guided Meditation
So far we’ve discussed a few meditation practices that can be used as mindfulness activities for adults.
However, we haven’t mentioned meditation itself.
Mindfulness is one of the core mechanics of meditation.
When meditating, we focus on the present moment, while at the same time trying to eliminate the stream of thoughts we usually experience.
The aim is to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state of mind.
However, it is important to note that mindfulness does not equal meditation.
You can be mindful without meditating, for example, when eating, when taking a walk, or when partaking in other everyday activities.
One of the main differences between being mindful and being in a meditative state is that mindfulness does not require you to shut your stream of consciousness off.
Instead, you cultivate an awareness of all your thoughts, feelings, and bodily states, and you try to accept them as they are, without changing anything.
Meditation can seem challenging at first – it’s hard to sit in complete silence when you’re just starting out.
However, it gets much easier with time, as you learn how to be more mindful.
If you’re a beginner who doesn’t know what to do when meditating, guided meditation can be of great help figuring out the ropes.
It’s definitely worth giving a shot if you’re looking for mindfulness activities for adults that require a bit more involvement and effort.
9. Mindful Yoga or Stretching
Being mindful is all about bringing awareness to the present moment, and one of the easiest mindfulness activities for adults is to bring awareness to your own body.
You can do it while sitting still but it can get boring; instead, try mindful stretching or mindful yoga.
While doing this activity, you need to focus on your breathing, body movements, and physical sensations in general.
Try to notice which muscles you are stretching and how it feels, how your joints are moving, or how your breath travels through and empowers your body.
The key is paying attention to your body without any judging – accept your body the way it is and come to a harmonious relationship with it.
However, it’s only natural that you might experience some negative thoughts about yourself when doing this, for example, that you can’t do the stretch deep enough or that you feel like you’re immobile, and so on.
Instead of actively fighting those thoughts, let them go – yes, they occurred, and that’s fine.
A crucial component of mindfulness is learning how to let it go and just stay in the present moment.
10. Take Up Mindful Coloring
Although it may seem childish at first, mindful coloring is one of those mindfulness activities for adults that can be so deeply relaxing and calming, everyone should try it!
It’s super simple – pick a coloring book you like (there are so many to choose from nowadays) or print out a few coloring pages from the internet and get to work.
When partaking in mindful coloring, try to pay attention to the colors – how do they look and how does the ink sink into the paper?
What physical or mental sensations are you feeling at the moment, what do the strokes look like?
Mindful coloring can be extremely calming, especially for people who struggle with anxiety.
11. Clean Your Home With a Mindful Attitude
It’s no lie – a lot of us dread cleaning sometimes.
And although it can feel daunting, by turning it into one of the mindfulness activities for adults, you can kill two birds with one stone!
You get a clean home AND some time to practice mindfulness – multitasking at its finest!
To start, pick a chore you need to complete and focus solely on the job.
Don’t think about what else needs to be done, how fast you need to do it, what plans you have for tomorrow – wherever your mind drifts to, bring it back to the present moment.
Say, for example, you’re cleaning the floor.
Notice how the mop is collecting the dirt, the wet streaks it leaves on the floor, what sound it’s making right now, maybe it missed a few specks of dust here and there…
Remember to leave your judgment at bay – just observe and accept (although I completely understand you – cleaning can feel super annoying sometimes).
Imagine that cleaning this floor is the only thing you’re supposed to be doing right now.
Not only will it make the act of cleaning feel much more pleasurable, but it will also help you practice mindfulness.
12. Reflect Upon Your Day, Mindfully
It’s the end of the day and your mind might be racing, thinking about what you managed to cross out of your to-do list, and what got left behind.
You might be making plans for tomorrow and stressing about them, when tomorrow still hasn’t even come yet.
We’ve all been there, and it can really put you in a bad mood when you were supposed to have a chilled, relaxing evening after work.
If that sounds like you, you might benefit from one of the mindfulness activities for adults, called mindful reflection.
The main focus of mindful reflection is reviewing your day without any judgment or attachment, noticing your emotions, thoughts, and experiences.
Try to acknowledge and accept both the positive and challenging parts of your day.
It can really help you destress after a long day and, at the same time, help you become more mindful.
Using mindfulness activities for adults is a fantastic way to stay present and be aware of what’s happening at the very moment you’re in.
However, living a busy life can sometimes make it difficult to engage in these mindfulness activities for adults.
Fortunately, these simple exercises can help you practice mindfulness every day, little by little.
As you practice being mindful regularly, it will start becoming a habit and won’t require so much effort anymore.