Mindfulness is gaining in popularity to find stability and inner peace for one very simple reason:
It can also be a lot of fun and improve your day.
I’ve used these techniques in my own life and ended up completely changing my mindset, love life and career, which I write about in my new book Hidden Secrets of Buddhism.
I’m going to go over some of the most fun mindfulness techniques and my tips for how to use them with maximum impact.
1) Rise and shine
The first of the fun mindfulness techniques to practice every day that I’m going to recommend is one I call “rise and shine.”
This is important because it’s not something you have to think about much and once you get into the swing of it you’ll find that it becomes like second nature to you.
You do it right when you wake up:
Instead of hitting snooze, do this…
Make a morning routine for yourself. You can customize this of course and do it the way you want, but the key is to do what works best for you and gets you in the frame of mind to face the day head-on.
What I do is wake up, stretch and breathe deeply and slowly for three minutes, feeling the oxygen fill my body.
Then I get up, splash my face with cold water and write down a list of one goal for the day on a whiteboard I have on my wall.
For example: BREATHE. Or LAUGH. Or EMBRACE YOUR FRUSTRATION.
I then do twenty pushups and twenty situps, letting my mind go blank and getting in my body. I let my thoughts come and go without paying attention, looking up at the whiteboard as I do my situps.
This is my morning routine. Feel free to make your own!
The next mindfulness tip may be able to fit into your morning routine, for example.
2) Walk it out
Walking is actually a really great way to practice mindfulness.
You put one foot in front of the other and proceed ahead. Then you do it again. And again.
The whole time you let your thoughts come and go. Focus on the sensation of your breath and feeling your own physical body.
You can decide where to walk. The earlier the better, as long as it’s light out for safety reasons.
As long as you know where you’re going then you will be fine having nobody else around and will be able to accompany you.
Try it on your own and go for at leats a twenty minute walk.
If you’ve written down a goal for the day, you can repeat it in your head as you walk. Breathe into it.
3) The five senses exercise
This is one of my absolute favorites when it comes to fun mindfulness techniques to practice every day.
It’s called the five senses exercise.
How it works is what it sounds like:
You name five feelings that you can actually feel in your body at a certain time and then go through all your senses.
I recommend sitting on a sofa or some cushions. Even better? If available go lie in a hammock!
What can you feel? Name five things…
For example maybe you feel your pant legs scratching you, your stomach being hungry and hurting a bit, your eyes being physically tired…
Next, what can you hear? Name four things…
For example, maybe you hear the neighbor mowing his lawn, or the sound of a bird nearby…
Now move on to three things you can see…
For example, maybe you can see the clock on the wall, or see a palm tree swaying as you lie in the hammock.
Now we get to what you can smell. Try for two things…
Maybe you smell a scent of the roses you have in a vase on the table or the scent of this morning’s eggs and bacon lingering on the air. Breathe it in, be aware of it…
Now we’re finishing up with your fifth sense: taste.
What can you taste right now? Maybe it’s a bit of a taste of chocolate you ate recently, or the tang of some mint tea that’s still in your mouth a bit. If you don’t taste anything discernible, focus on the memory of a taste.
4) Eating excellence
Eating mindfully is another outstanding practice that has worked well for me.
I used to wolf food down like a hyena, but now I chew carefully and enjoy every bite. I don’t look at my phone while I do and I try to avoid conversation.
I savor the taste, the aroma, the texture and also feel emotions of what the food makes me feel physically in my body (heavy, light, excited, sad, craving).
Another recommendation I have for fun mindfulness techniques to practice every day, is to prepare food mindfully.
There is so much absorption in the moment and joy that you can experience with just methodically laying out everything you will need to cook including your tools and ingredients and then preparing a meal.
Renowned Zen mindfulness teacher and philosopher Alan Watts put it best when he said “Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes.
“Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.”
5) Color your world
Next up in fun mindfulness techniques to practice every day is coloring books.
I know that we think of these as only being for kids, but that’s not true at all.
What I particularly recommend is coloring in complex mandalas (Buddhist symbols).
This is an excellent mindfulness practice that brings you right into the present moment and gets you focused on the task at hand, appreciating the beauty and fine detail of what you’re doing.
You focus on your piece and then notice slowly as the whole emerges. It’s like life itself.
Another great option of mindfulness is doing a puzzle, including a 3D puzzle as well as doing painting and prep of small figurines like Warhammer or models such as model cars and airplanes.
You’ll be fully absorbed in the task at hand, believe me!
6) Get in the garden
Now we come to one of my favorite fun mindfulness techniques to practice every day:
It sounds basic, but gardening connects you to the earth, your own body and the present moment like almost nothing else.
Getting your hands in some dirt brings you down to earth both literally and figuratively.
Thoughts and emotions may come and go, but after half an hour or so you will find a certain rhythm and peace in the practice of gardening itself as you dig, plant, weed and survey your domain.
If you want to go to the next level, try building a small Zen dry garden which you can rake and tend to. The technical term for it is a karesansui.
7) Breathe brilliantly
Next up comes breathing: it’s something we all do, but rarely think about.
For many of us, myself included, we tend to breathe shallowly and only truly breathe deeply when conscious.
Changing this and practicing mindful breathing is a life-changer, and it’s something many Buddhist masters such as Thich Nhat Hanh have taught about.
Focus on drawing in breath through your nose and then exhale fully in extended form as you pay attention to your thoughts and let them drift in and out.
Keep in mind you can do this while walking as well or while gardening, combining it with your daily life and your exercises in order to become fully present and mindful.
8) Shake it off
This is one of the most amazing and fun mindfulness techniques to practice every day.
What you do first is you get an empty jar, clean it and fill it three quarters with water and glitter as well as some dirt.
Then you shake the jar and put it in front of you to observe.
You can see how the flakes and glitter swirl around and the mud as well.
Notice how you can’t see anything and the glitter (“positive”) and mud (“negative”) are swirling in really confusing ways that stop you being able to tell what’s going on.
As you watch the mud and glitter settle, notice how you can see the water more and make sense of the situation.
This is what it’s like trying to make decisions right away when your “jar” (mind) is swirling with positive and negative emotions and thoughts.
Sometimes you have to be still and wait for the dust to settle.
I love to do this exercise at least once a week as part of my journey to personal power and clarity.
Unlocking your potential…
Life can be confusing and hard!
If you’d asked me a few years ago while I was lifting TVs in a warehouse I’d never have believed you that I’d now be running one of the world’s most popular spiritual and self-development websites.
But so much can change when you practice mindfulness and unlock the secrets of ancient wisdom.
Good luck with the techniques above and please let me know how it goes!
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