othing premenstrual syndrome. Tracks are 5 minutes long, making the practices easy to incorporate dai

Mindfulness for anxiety

According to a 2018 studyTrusted Source, mindfulness meditation may help reduce markers of stress in people with generalized anxiety disorder. Try the practices below to calm and ground.

Body scanning

Body scan meditation is a simple, relaxing way to calm the mind and body. It involves using awareness to mindfully scan your body for sensations, like pain or tension.

To practice, you simply lie down, relax the body, and tune in to what you’re feeling. For full instructions, benefits, and tips, check out this articlTracking

Tracking is a somatic experiencing technique that can help you feel grounded and present in the space you’re in. This is done by looking around the room and observing objects with mindfulness.

You can find full instructions here.

Box breathing

Box breathing is a technique that involves taking full, deep breaths to calm the nervous system. It’s also known as four square breathing.

Find full benefits and instructions here.

Acceptance and self-compassion

Anxiety can often involve resistance and fear toward the anxiety itself. One way to relax the hold anxiety has on you is to accept it. This can involve a simple reframing of anxiety as a strength rather than a shortcoming.

When you do so, you may also find that you can more easily let go of self-blame or shame around having anxiety in the first place.

Mindfulness for groups

Mindfulness doesn’t have to be a solo activity. In fact, practicing mindfulness with others can be a powerful reflection tool.

Blindfolded movement

Blindfolded movement is a way to heighten your senses and shut off your need to “look good.” It can come in the form of blindfolded yoga or even open-ended, free-form movement.

For the latter, participants move at a very slow pace. When they start to sense another person nearby, or accidentally graze a shoulder or elbow, they can mindfully move in the other direction.

Eye gazing

Eye gazing with a partner is a powerful way to connect and see what comes up when you engage in this intimate practice. All you need to do is sit facing each other, set a timer for 1 to 5 minutes, and stare into each other’s eyes.

You may find that strong emotions come up, and that’s OK. If you’re practicing in a group, you can switch to a new partner after the first round and continue in this way until all participants have practiced together.

Partner breathing

Partner breathing is similar to eye gazing, except that you sit back to back with your spines lined up.

As you do so, begin to focus on expanding the breath into your belly and back. Try to sync your breathing with your partner’s, so you’re both in rhythm.

Laughter yoga

It’s often said that laughter is the best medicine. Laughter yoga is a group practice that focuses on joy, playfulness, and fun.

For a full list of benefits and how to do it, read on here.

Sound healing and music therapy

If you feel drawn to music as a healing tool, you might benefit from sound healing. It can come in many shapes and sizes, from music therapy to gong baths.

Art-based mindfulness activities

If you loved making arts and crafts as a kid, chances are you’ll benefit from art-based mindfulness.

Coloring and doodling

Adult coloring books abound on store shelves these days, so it’s easy to pick one up and get coloring. You can even try Healthline’s very own mindful mandala.

Doodling is another relaxing art-based activity that’s a bit more free-form than coloring inside the lines. The Zentangle Method is a popular option.


Crafting can get you out of your head and into your body. It also offers the opportunity to work with your hands, tune in to your inner child, and engage with different shapes, colors, and textures.

Art therapy

When it comes to healing, art therapy may have a lot to offer. It’s used for post-traumatic stress disorderanxietydepressiondiabetes, and multiple sclerosis. But it can benefit almost anyone.

According to research, art therapy can regulate mood and even addictive behaviors.

5-minute mindfulness activities

Having a full schedule and being mindful don’t have to be mutually exclusive. You can incorporate mindfulness into your life no matter how stacked your calendar is.

Basic breathing

Basic breathing is simple, straightforward meditation that uses the breath to settle the mind.

  1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
  2. Observe your breath on the inhalation.
  3. Observe your breath on the exhalation.
  4. When the mind wanders, gently bring it back to focusing on your breath.

That’s it! To deepen the practice, focus on feeling:

  • your belly and chest expanding and contracting
  • the warmth of your breath in your nostrils and throat
  • the sensation of your body against the seat or the floor

It’s best to practice consistently at the same time each day. Start with 3 to 5 minutes, and lengthen your practice over time.

Deep seeing exercise

Deep seeing is a simple exercise that engages the sense of sight to tune in more deeply to your surroundings. All you need to do is select an object that appeals to you. It can be anything: a colorful scarf, an orange from a fruit bowl, or a fresh flower.

Then, use your sense of sight to intimately engage with that object. See the folds, colors, texture, size, and shape. Gently observe the object until you begin to notice things you didn’t notice before.

Set a timer for 3 to 5 minutes, so you can fully immerse yourself in the process without looking at the clock.

Deep listening exercise

The deep listening exercise is similar to deep seeing, except you use your sense of hearing. All you need to do is sit and listen.

Listen to close sounds, like your breath. Then listen for sounds that are slightly further away, like the hum of a fan or someone speaking in the next room. Then listen for even further sounds, like cars or airplanes.

Do this for 3 to 5 minutes.

The bottom line

Mindfulness activities can involve almost anything you do in your day-to-day life. It’s not meant to be separate from reality, but to be an integral and enriching part of it.

Give these mindfulness activities a try to invite presence, calm, and connection into your every day.

Crystal Hoshaw is a mother, writer, and longtime yoga practitioner. She has taught in private studios, gyms, and in one-on-one settings in Los Angeles, Thailand, and the San Francisco Bay Area. She shares mindful strategies for self-care through online courses. You can find her on Instagram.