8 Meaningful Mindfulness Exercises to Improve Your Mental Health

We’re all a bit stressed, run-down, and tired. We have so much going on day-to-day, and no time to reflect. If you have any form of social media, you know Mindfulness is trending and a hot topic. But what exactly is it, how do you “get” it, and why is it so important? Below are 8 meaningful and simple mindfulness exercises to improve your mental health.

8 Meaningful Mindfulness Exercises To Improve Your Mental Health

What Is Mindfulness?

Ahhh, mindfulness. Sounds simple and straightforward right? In a sense, it is. Just being in a state of consciousness or awareness of something is being mindful. But it goes deeper than that. It’s a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, and acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations as a therapeutic technique. Mindfulness exercises are simply a way of exercising those “muscles” of the mind and training them to get there faster when you need them.

Read More: Becoming a Mindful Parent: 5 Essential Post-Pandemic Practices To Adopt

The awesome thing about mindfulness and mindfulness exercises is that they are free to do, and can be done anywhere and whenever you need them. Cool right? The first step is to live in the moment and pay attention. Slow down, but also be intentional in accepting the world around you. Then accept yourself while focusing on your breathing. Mindful people are able to see the world with great clarity, and without attachment to preconceived ideas about people, places, and things.

Why is Mindfulness Important?

Besides the fact that studies suggest mindfulness exercises may help us manage stress, cope better with serious illness, and reduce anxiety and depression, mindfulness also has other benefits. Those who practice being mindful on a regular basis report more enthusiasm for life, a greater ability to relax, and generally greater self-esteem. Then there are some less well-known and researched benefits like enhanced flexibility, improved concentration and mental clarity, and even emotional intelligence.

But there are also more benefits that aren’t just internal but affect those around oneself. Some theorized benefits are self-control, objectivity, tolerance for others, and the ability to relate to others and one’s self with kindness, acceptance, and compassion. So mindfulness exercises do more than just create more wellness in oneself, but wellness is extended out to others, benefitting those around us.

How to Become Mindful?

So how does one go about practicing mindfulness exercises? We’ve put together 8 mindfulness exercises for beginners to experts that you can do every day to practice being mindful and increase your awareness.

Read More: Meaningful Mindfulness Exercises To Improve Your Mental Health
Setting Intentions

When done properly, setting intentions is more than just setting your goals. It’s about being purposeful in reaching the outcomes your desire. Setting an intention on a daily basis is merely just writing or saying an aim or purpose for the day – something you plan to do or achieve – which helps you focus your day around something you value. The main points are to just decide what you want and be clear, positive, and simple. Then accomplish the task.

Awareness of Breath & Body

Breath awareness is a powerful tool to bridge the mind and body. By tuning into our breath we can easily and effectively examine our current state. First, sit in a comfortable position with your eyes closed, and notice your breath. Are you breathing fast or slow? Notice the sensations your breathing creates. Where can you feel it within your body? When you’re ready, open your eyes and pay attention to how you feel. Has your breathing changed from the beginning? As you practice this mindfulness exercise you’ll become more aware and more confident.

Tapping Into Your Emotions

A lot of people are so busy these days that even just understanding how they feel has to take a backseat to errands, work, and keeping busy. Learning to identify your feelings throughout the day and correctly name them is a healthy way to mindfully feel your emotions. It helps us identify and acknowledge our emotions which ultimately helps us process and understand them.

Check-in with your emotions. How do you feel? Track your emotions throughout the day. Do they change? Write it out, be present and feel the emotions, and validate them. Feeling emotions is part of being human.

Practice Gratitude

When you tune into the small, everyday details of life, you notice the good things that usually are taken for granted. One of the easier beginner mindfulness exercises is just practicing gratitude every day. Think of a specific number of things you’re thankful for – maybe your warm home, a loving family, and your job – and grow from there. Savor those feelings of thankfulness.

Other ways to practice gratitude are sharing your appreciation for others, showing gratitude to others by helping them, and telling the people in your life just how you feel about them.


One of the mindfulness exercises everyone could benefit from is meditation. Like being aware of your breath and body while sitting still, meditation takes it a step further by noticing when our mind wanders from that task and brings it back over and over again. When your mind does wander, be patient, and kind, and don’t judge yourself. Just bring your mind back. Meditation is a way to anchor oneself that requires practice to get to a true meditative state.

Read More: 10 Cures For Brain Fog: Improve Your Mental Clarity
Mindful Eating

Like meditation or breath awareness, mindful eating is as it sounds – being mindful and aware of what you’re eating. It’s an approach to food that focuses on one’s sensual awareness of the food and their experience. Unlike most people who eat quickly and until all the food is gone, mindful eating is the opposite. It’s eating slowly, savoring and tasting, and feeling every bite. It’s smelling the food, looking at the food, taking slow bites, and holding it in one’s mouth longer than normal. When mindfully eating, you listen to your body’s signals and eat only until you’re full.

Take a Tech Break

We all need a tech break. It’s been researched that scrolling social media causes anxiety, so stepping away from our phones, tv, and other devices is going to have the opposite effect. It’s a simple, but very effective, mindfulness exercise we could all use more of.

Be present

Being present isn’t just about showing up. It’s about spending your precious time with the people who make you feel happy and fulfilled. It’s about accepting things as they are (not as you want them to be), and noticing your surroundings. Being present is the exercise that ties all of them together. Without being present, none of the other exercises really work.

Mindfulness is more than just a trending topic and has actually been practiced for centuries. It provides the opportunity to have a better quality of life, is free to practice, and can transform your life. Let’s all improve ourselves today by being mindful and using these exercises to better our souls and our lives.

Check out Daily Mom’s article on Mindful Fitness in 30 Minutes.

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8 Meaningful Mindfulness Exercises To Improve Your Mental Health



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Lauren Austin
Lauren Austinhttp://www.financialfundaments.com
She's a full-time Financial Coach, professional designer, and part-time home DIYer. As a business owner of Financial Fundaments, and an awesome mom to 3 young kids, she has a full plate but loves every minute of it. Lauren became a Daily Mom to satisfy her need for writing while helping other moms take control of their financial health.