In this post, you will find mindfulness activities for adults to practice being present.
Have you ever driven on auto-pilot? You arrive at your destination without fully remembering how you got there?
That’s just one example of how mindless we can be in everyday life.
I don’t know about you, but I want to live in the moment, being mindful of every detail.
(Life is too short to live any other way!)
Since you’ve landed on this page, I’m guessing you’re searching for ways to be more aware and present, too.
So without further ado, let’s talk about some mindfulness activities for adults that you can do practically anywhere, anytime, in just a few minutes each day.
1. Eat Mindfully
I’ve been guilty of snacking mindlessly.
Wait…where did that whole box of cookies go?!
I bet you know the feeling. That’s why I think diet is one of the best places to start when implementing a new mindfulness routine.
Don’t get me wrong—there’s no “diet” to follow. Just be mindful of what you eat and how much.
I love the phrase, “eat to live, don’t live to eat.”
Try to choose foods for how they’ll benefit your body instead of basing choices on taste alone.
2. Describe One Moment Each Day Using All 5 Senses
Either as part of a journal, out loud, or quietly to yourself, one of the best principles of mindfulness is being able to describe a single event in great detail.
It could be something as simple as thinking about your lunch and describing how it looked, smelled, felt, tasted, and the sounds you experienced while eating it.
It’s not limited to food either. You can describe anything from a scene outside your window to the way your socks felt as you slipped them onto your feet.
3. Paint Without a Picture
Instead of looking at someone or something to get inspiration, try closing your eyes and gaining inspiration from your mind.
This type of mindfulness craft activity allows you to express yourself to a truer extent than trying to paint within someone else’s lines.
4. Walk Barefoot Outside
I can’t overstate the benefit of outdoor mindfulness activities for adults. One that is very simple and easy to accomplish is walking barefoot.
It’s a great way to feel in touch with nature without the manmade construct of shoes acting as a barrier.
There’s something liberating about feeling bare dirt or vibrant grass between your toes. Feelings you’ll never experience if you don’t slip off the sneakers every now and then.
5. Pause to Respond (Not React) to Emotion
One great mindfulness technique is pausing to respond to emotion.
For example, let’s say you read something online that upset you. Instead of reacting to that anger by getting upset and letting it control you, consider responding to it in a healthier way.
Ask yourself why you were upset by those words. Is it possible that you misread the statement or misunderstood the tone?
Is there a productive way that you can respond? Or is it better to ignore the comment?
Some things need to be addressed head-on while others need to be let go. It takes a mindful, discerning person to differentiate between the two.
6. Build a Care Package for Someone
One of the greatest sensations we can experience is helping out our fellow man. Being mindful of those around us is the ultimate expression of love, kindness and empathy.
A care package is a lovely way to show others that you see them and that you care.
I think we all know someone who is struggling or could simply use a pick-me-up (like this box of sunshine idea).
Even something as small as making them a hot meal with a handwritten note can go a long way towards brightening that person’s day.
7. Photograph Common, Yet Overlooked Subjects
Each and every day, we pass by common things, never noticing their potential or uncommon beauty.
Be intentional in noticing the small things by taking a camera with you the next time you take a day trip or go to town to run errands.
Photograph items you would normally overlook, like the hedges outside your bank or the faded table at your favorite diner.
8. Take a 30-Day Challenge
A 30-day challenge calls for taking time out of each day to do the same task. That repetitive cycle calls for consistency and dedication—two traits uniquely connected to mindfulness.
Not only that, completing such a challenge is both satisfying and motivating.
There are plenty of monthly challenges you can do that can actually help you achieve your goal of being more mindful, such as:
- Gratitude journaling
- Eating healthier
- Spending more time with family
- And more
9. Go for a Nature Hike
Do you live within walking distance of a trail, park, or other scenic location that allows you to observe nature in its purest form?
Even if you have to drive there, I highly recommend getting out in nature and exploring a little.
And leave the earbuds at home.
You’ll be amazed at the sites and sounds you’ll see and hear when you’re not distracted by the city buzz.
10. Do Less Multitasking
Multitasking is praised as a time-saver, but it can be a total mindfulness-killer. It’s not exactly conducive to being fully present in each moment.
So instead of turning on the TV as background noise while cooking, consider using that time to focus on the task at hand. Take in the smells and textures. Explore the different flavors.
Or maybe enjoy a quiet drive through town with no phone calls.
Doing one thing at a time helps you focus and reduce distractions that can actually make each task take longer.
11. Release Body Tension
Here’s how it works:
Starting at your toes, tense up every muscle group you possibly can, working slowly up to your legs, arms, shoulders, and neck.
Then, release them all at once until your body is completely relaxed. Feel every muscle tension “melt away” so to speak (and let your worries melt away right along with them).
If this doesn’t work for you or you prefer an alternative, try getting a professional massage and use that time to be more mindful of your body and where you hold stress and pressure.
12. Doodle or Color
Drawing or coloring is a great way to relieve stress and force yourself to focus.
You can purchase a coloring book from a local store (either for children or adults, whichever you prefer), or you can simply use scrap paper lying around the house.
I also have some printable coloring pages you can use!
Focus on the designs and colors, and try to hone in on shades and shadows you may have overlooked before.
13. Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal essentially forces you to focus and recount whatever topic you’re journaling about. That’s why it is such a fantastic tool for mindfulness.
It can improve your memory as well as help you achieve inner focus.
It also makes it easier to reflect on the events of the day, helping you make the most of any lessons learned.
If you need help getting started, try these printable journal prompts.
14. Read a Novel
A good book is a great way to embark upon an adventure in someone else’s shoes.
Like journaling, reading forces you to pay attention to detail—especially when you combine the two in the form of a book journal.
15. Memorize Bible Verses
Memorizing scripture is a great way to teach yourself to be more mindful. The Bible is full of verses that encourage us to be more mindful of others.
Not only that, it reveals a startling truth:
God is mindful of you.
Psalm 115:12 states, “The Lord has been mindful of us; He will bless us.”
If you’re looking for some mindfulness Bible verses to memorize, try these:
- Psalm 119:15-16
- Colossians 3:2
- Psalm 37:7
- Romans 12:2-3
- Ephesians 5:15-17
- Isaiah 26:3
Speaking of being present, join my email group for weekly positivity & motivation tips & freebies!
16. Describe an Item to Someone as if They’ve Never Seen It
Now for an especially fun mindfulness exercise for adults…describe something to someone as if it’s never been seen before.
You could call a friend you haven’t seen in a while or write a letter describing a new piece of furniture or art you’ve gotten since they last visited.
If you don’t want to involve others, you could simply write down the description as a personal thought exercise.
17. Watch the Birds
Birdwatching is a fun and free activity that can be done almost anywhere.
There are literally thousands of different birds in the world, but we tend to see the same ones from day to day. The normalcy of it all can make us overlook these stunning creatures.
Next time you’re able, spare a few minutes to sit and watch your local birds. Point out things you never noticed about them.
Look for color variations, how they move, the different pitches of their chirps and songs, etc.
18. Plant a Garden
If you’re looking for a more mindful hobby for adults that’s also productive, try planting a garden!
Whether it’s in your yard, a community garden, or even just a small collection of houseplants on your porch, gardening is a great way to practice mindfulness on a regular basis.
It requires a certain level of attention and care to keep plants alive, to know when they need to be watered, or to be placed in a different location with more or less sun.
As such, gardens naturally encourage a level of mindfulness that can be quite transformative.
19. Practice Listening Exercises
Listening exercises can take many forms, but they’re an effective way to see things from another perspective and help you be a better listener.
If you have a friend willing to join you, have them tell you a story about something that happened to them recently.
Then, once they’re finished, tell the story back to them in your own words. Ask questions to uncover more details.
It’s just a simple way to practice active listening and be more mindful of those around you (and their concerns and experiences).
20. Turn Your Waiting into Meditating
An easy way to practice mindfulness each day is to meditate while you’re waiting for something else to happen.
If you’re expecting a phone call at 1 P.M., sit within reach of your phone at 12:45 and take some time to meditate.
This could also take the form of prayer if you like, as long as it helps you focus and clear your mind.
21. Focus on a Focal Point for 5 Minutes
This is one of my favorite 5-minute mindfulness activities for adults.
You could sit down on your couch, look straight ahead, and choose either an item or something on the wall and just focus on it.
Clear your mind and think of nothing but that focal point for 5 minutes.
22. Monitor Your Thoughts
Our thoughts dictate our mindset. So it’s only natural that we need to be in control of our thoughts in order to practice mindfulness.
Also, mindfulness is a positive thing. Negative thoughts are counterproductive to it. We need to both monitor and control our thoughts and be intentional about positive thinking.
When you notice a negative thought creeping in, silence it by replacing it with a positive one.
As you do that on a regular basis, you’ll grow more mindful of how you talk to yourself and things you may need to work on and improve.
23. Go Dancing
Looking for an adult mindfulness activity you can do as a group?
I know…it’s a bold move and maybe unnerving for some, but it’s also an incredible way to feel the music and heighten your senses.
You can go somewhere with friends, dance with your partner, or even put on some music in your own house and let loose.
24. Establish a No-Tech Day
Technology can be a helpful tool, no doubt, but it can also be a source of stress, distraction, and negative thinking.
Taking a break from smartphones, laptops, video games, or any other devices is a great way to be more present and help you focus on what’s important.
25. Practice Mindful Breathing
Mindfulness breathing can take many forms and different techniques, but most involve taking a series of deep breaths to help clear your mind.
There are many websites, phone apps, and books that can help you choose a breathing exercise that’s right for you.
These mindfulness activities for adults can transform your life if you practice them consistently.
There’s something truly special about being present in every moment. These exercises can help get you to that place—even in the midst of the hectic, fast-paced world we live in.