This post is all about 5 minute mindfulness activities for adults.
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So you want to practice mindfulness but don’t have time to fit in a 30 minute meditation in your schedule? Don’t worry, I got you!
Mindfulness is quite the buzz word these days. Mainly because it gives the promises of lower stress, mental clarity and strong relationships, in this fast paced world.
Simply put, mindfulness is the practice of intentionally bringing your attention to the present moment.
In today’s world, where there are at least 5 things fighting for your attention at all times and multitasking is a flex, mindfulness allows you to really focus on the task at hand.
The best part is, you can use mindfulness activities to bring a sense of calm to your daily activities, like eating or driving, without having to spend much time on this practice.
Here are 20+ 5 minute mindfulness mindfulness activities that you can easily incorporate in your busy schedules.
Moreover, I’ve also mentioned 5 common problems (& their solutions 😉 that every beginner faces when they start practicing mindfulness.
what is daily mindfulness?
Daily mindfulness is the process of slowing down and focusing on the present moment. So, instead of letting your mind wander off to the past or worry about the future, mindfulness helps you intentionally bring back your attention to the current tasks.
Think of it as a mental reset button. Take a moment and notice your surroundings, thoughts and feelings, without any judgement. Take it all in.
While meditation is the best way to practice mindfulness, you can also get started by simply bringing your attention to something as simple as enjoying your morning coffee. Feeling the warmth of the cup on your skin, and the taste of your drink.
It’ll help you reduce stress and bring a sense of calm and clarity to your days.
Common obstacles in mindfulness
Mindfulness might sound like a simple concept in theory, but when you start practicing it there are a few obstacles that you’d encounter. Specially if you are a beginner or have a mind that gets easily distracted (like mine).
1. Busy schedules
It can be hard to find time to practice mindfulness with a busy schedule. That’s why these 5 minutes mindfulness activities are perfect to give you a taste of mindfulness and start making a habit out of it.
2. Restlessness & wandering thoughts
You might get restless or have a new thought every 10 seconds during your mindfulness practice, and that’s okay.
All you need to do is notice the sensation and the thoughts and let it pass. Don’t force yourself to stop thinking (that never works). Just gracefully bring yourself back.
3. self judgements
Here’s the golden rule of mindfulness – Do Not Judge Yourself. You might feel like you’re not doing it right or catch yourself getting distracted, but don’t judge yourself for it. Give yourself some grace.
4. Resistance to Difficult Emotions
Sometimes you seek distractions because it’s easier to scroll through Instagram than to sit with your own thoughts.
Some people might find it hard to pay attention to their thoughts & emotions, but trust me, practicing mindfulness would help you get mental clarity.
5. Impatience and Frustration
These days, we’re so used to getting immediate results. But learning how to practice mindfulness and getting results takes time. And if you stay consistent with it, the rewards are 10x better.
6. external distractions
It may be hard to focus on the the present moment if you have a notification sound buzzing in the background or something else that’s trying to divide your attention.
The easy way to avoid this is to opt for a distraction free corner and enjoy a few minutes of solitude.
5 minute mindfulness activities
1. look out the window
Whether you’re sitting in your office or driving, simply look outside the window and really notice your surroundings. The shapes of the leaves, the color of the sky, buildings around you.
Not just that, bring attention to what you can hear or smell. Look around with curiosity as if you’re seeing everything for the first time.
Use art to bring your subconscious thoughts on paper.
Take a blank sheet and start doodling, whether you create a pattern or doodle your favorite quote. Notice how your hand moves, how the pencil strokes the paper, and the scratching sound it makes.
The best thing about this 5 minute mindfulness activities, is that when you focus on the art at hand you stop overthinking and indulging in distractive thoughts.
3. brain dump
Take out your journal and start writing everything that’s going on in your head, even the smallest of thoughts. I usually do this when I’m feeling overwhelmed. And it always helps me clear my mind and bring attention to the thoughts that are bothering me.
This is another fun 5-minute mindfulness activities. Instead of going on your phone during your after work hours, engage with a puzzle.
This allows you to focus on the present moment, as you try to ‘solve the puzzle’, and saves you from spending the entire night overthinking.
5. body scan
Simply close your eyes and do a quick body scan. You can stay where you are or lie down in you want to get comfortable.
Now, bring your attention to each body part one by one. Notice the sensations you’re feeling, release any tension, and bring awareness to all your senses.
Slowly go from the tip of your head to the bottom of your feat. Or use a guided body scan meditation like this one.
6. mindful walks
Mindful walks are my favorite on this list, mainly because it helps you move your body, enjoy nature time and practice mindfulness, all in one go.
Simply go on a walk without any distractions, and just enjoy the nature around you. Bring awareness to how your cheeks heat up and heartbeat gets louder as you walk faster.
Also, pay attention to your thoughts and notice them without any judgement.
Mindful walks essentials
7. gratitude reflection
Take your journal and write down 3 things you’re grateful for today. Dive a little deeper and write down the exact moments that made you feel grateful.
Now, notice how remembering those moments makes you feel. Let those feelings of gratitude and appreciation stay a little longer.
Gratitude journaling is probably the only 5 minute mindfulness activities that produce such quick results.
8. mindful listening
Take the next 5 minutes to close your eyes and simply listen. If you’re in the office, you might hear the sound of keys tapping, doors unlocking, Teams call’s ringing haha.
If you’re in the café, pay attention to the coffee machine sound, the birds chirping in distance and the background music.
You’ll be shocked to see how many more things you start noticing when you practice mindfulness.
9. making coffee
This is the simplest 5 minute mindfulness activities and the perfect way to start your day.
While making your morning coffee, bring your attention to the present. Appreciate the smell of the coffee, how it tastes, and how each sip wakes you up a little more.
Pay attention to how you’re feeling as you wake up and notice your thoughts.
10. digital detox
I think it’s safe to say that our primary source of distractions are our phones. So, take a days (or a few hours to get started with) and keep your phone locked in another room.
Pick up 2-3 fun mindfulness activities from this list and embrace the task at hand.
You might start feeling anxious for your phone, but ground yourself in the present and focus on enjoying the task at hand, to calm your mind.
Related Post : 10 Fun Digital Detox Day Ideas
11. spot the color exercise
Here’s a fun mindfulness practice to try. Take the next 1 minute to look around your room and spot every red thing in your room.
Playing with colors will help you bring more attention to the smallest of things around you.
Now, name 5 white things in your room WITHOUT looking.
Most of the people won’t be able to do it. This example is usually used to draw a parallel as to how when we aren’t able to look at the present moment when we’re too fixated on the past or the future.
12. Quick check in
Set a reminder on your phone to do a quick check in with yourself during any random time of the day.
Simply notice your surroundings, how you’re feeling – mentally and physically, the thoughts in your head, the voices you hear around you. This 5 minute mindfulness activities will hardly take any time but will cultivate a habit of practicing mindfulness in everyday situations.
13. Mindful snack break
As someone who doesn’t want to switch the lunch Netflix time with anything else, a quick mindful snack break idea is the only alternative.
Basically, eat your snacks without your phone, or conversations, and just focus on every single bite you take. Don’t just focus on the smell or the taste, but also the physical sensations you feel during this.
14. breathing exercise
This is the most basic 5 minute mindfulness activities; perfect to get started with as a beginner.
Just close your eyes, and focus on your breath. Notice how you stomach rises and chest expands on each inhale. Observe the heat of every exhale and coolness of every inhale.
Every time you get distracted, bring your attention back to the breath.
15. art journaling
Art journaling is nothing but the concept of journaling your heart out using art, and not just words.
If you’re an artsy person, use this process to express your thoughts with colors and shapes.
Yoga and stretching is a great way to practice mindfulness. While yoga can’t be counted as a 5 minute mindfulness activities, you can use stretching to bring your attention to you body.
Notice where the tension is, and how it feels to stretch your body and move your hands through the air.
The phrase ‘bring your attention to the mat’, often repeated in a yoga practice, also refers to bringing your attention to the present moment.
Meditation is one of the best mindfulness activities. And while it might be difficult to stick with meditation as a beginner, you can use a 5-minute guided mediations to get started.
Simply close your eyes, focus in between your eyebrows, and let everything just pass by.
18. sing at the top of your lungs
This is not a cliché mindfulness activity but hear me out! I really feel that things like singing on top of your lungs or dancing your heart out really make you get lost in the moment.
I mean who’s got time to worry about the past or the future when you’re enjoying the present moment. Really notice the sensations you feel in your body.
19. Quick clean up
Cleaning is another daily activity that you can add mindfulness in.
Imagine you’re getting the house ready for your favorite celebrity. You’d pay attention to every little detail and every single setting vividly.
That’s how a mindful cleaning practice would look like!
20. Adult coloring books
Getting artsy and creative can really help you be mindful, focus on the present, and relax your mind.
Get yourself an adult coloring book, or a paint by numbers set, and really focus on the colors you want to fill, the intention behind it and the result you’re producing.
21. Evening reflection
This is a simple 5 minute mindfulness activities. Just open your journal and start reflecting on your days.
These reflections will help you be more intentional with your days going forward. If you have no idea where to start here are a few reflection prompts to try.
- Goals you accomplished today
- What makes you feel productive
- What are you grateful for
- How can you get better tomorrow
- How are you feeling at the end of the day