11 Best Mindful Exercise To Calm The Mind
Do you spend your downtime doom scrolling social media even though you’re tired? Prioritizing mindful exercises into your day can help you calm your mind, and disconnect from the world, for just a couple of minutes a day.
We've got 11 of the best mindful exercises to calm the mind and support a gentle, slow, and calm lifestyle.
By taking the time to disconnect, you’ll be able to reconnect with yourself and be in tune with how you’re feeling and save yourself from the burnout many people are feeling these days.
With regular practice, you'll learn that taking time out of your day for mindfulness will help you conquer every day for years to come.
Source: Unsplash, by Dingzeyu Li
11 Best Mindful Exercises To Calm The Mind
Stretching And Yoga
Enjoy Every Mouthful
Take A Pause
Building meditation into your day, especially mindful movement morning meditation, can help you start your day off calmly before things get hectic.
Studies have found that people who meditate live happier, healthier, more peaceful lives.
We love meditation here at UNPLUG because it's all about slowing down and reconnecting with yourself.
There are amazing benefits to practicing mindful meditation.
If you need a hand with your mediation session, try a guided meditation using an app like Headspace. This is a great way to get into a mindful meditation, and you can build the time spent as you go. Some great meditation apps include:
To do it, first, get comfortable. Next, find a calming space.
Think somewhere peaceful, away from the hustle and bustle. Our personal favorite is meditating by the beach or pool. After your session, you can take a dip for a refreshing start to the day.
Try our Baikal 1 Piece swimsuit with these sweatpants found at UNPLUG for your session. Not only will you be comfortable meditating, but you'll also be ready for your refreshing dip afterward. Pure bliss!
2. Silent Walking
Walking is one of the most underrated activities available. Even if the weather outside isn't great, jumping on a treadmill and moving your feet is a tremendous mindful exercise.
Silent walking can help you reconnect with your thoughts which is an excellent way to clear your head after a busy day.
Try to focus on how you're physically feeling and taking in the environment around you. If you're outside, take time to listen to the sounds.
Do you hear birds? Or even just the sound of the treadmill moving under your feet.
Be mindful of the sounds around you and how your body is moving. Being mindful throughout your walk can help you shift your thoughts away from that to-do list and help you feel a lot more grounded.
Just pop on some comfortable sneakers and lightweight clothes like this Stockholm Sports Bra top, Portland Biker Shorts, and Wrap Top. These can all be found in-store or online at UNPLUG. You'll be good to go for your silent walk, where you can reap the amazing benefits.
3. Stretching And Yoga
We love kicking our days off with a good stretch. Stretching and yoga are an excellent mindfulness activity for groups. Grab a group of friends and head to a yoga class where they practice mindful movement yoga.
Mindful yoga is different from your regular sun salutations. It is the holistic approach of connecting your mind to your breath.
This approach of combining mindfulness and yoga has been found to have many health benefits, including helping with chronic pain and depression.
If you want to get your heart rate up a little more, why not try mindful movement Pilates. Pilates has mindfulness built-in as the core principles are about centering, concentration, control, precision, flow, and breath.
It forces you to slow down and move with intention, building in a regular practice for you to become deeply connected with how your body moves and feels. Great workout for both body and mind.
Source: @shopterrae Instagram
4. Working Out
Every doctor will tell you that working out has health benefits that will last you throughout your lifetime.
Whether it's breaking a sweat at a Bootcamp class or lifting heavy weights at the gym, working out is a mindful movement that makes your heart stronger.
Whether you're a solo warrior or prefer getting your heart rate up with some mindful group exercises, make sure that you're mindful of how your body is moving as you work out.
It can be very easy to blast your favorite music and zone out as you move through a workout. But, practicing mindfulness as you move is where you'll reap the benefits of that mind and body connection. For example, turn your attention to how you’re breathing, or how you’re engaging each muscle as you lift a weight.
Working out requires the right gear like these found at UNPLUG. Our Go with the flow bra, short legging, and crop sweater. Just because you're sweating doesn't mean you can't feel amazing while doing so.
5. Mindful Gardening
For the plant parents out there with mindful goals, mindful gardening connects you not just to your mind but to nature as well.
There's just something incredibly soothing and exciting about planting seeds and watching them grow. Adding elements of mindfulness to this can make this even more impactful on your well-being.
Be fully present and turn your attention to the sights, sounds, textures, and even smells as you work through your garden. Over time, watch how much your garden grows, as well as the calmness within you.
Source: Unsplash by Jonathan Kemper
6. Body Scan
Another great mindful exercise is taking the time to do a body scan. This is a form of meditation but is slightly different. Body scanning means mentally scanning through your body to feel how each part of your body is feeling.
A body scan is a great way to understand mental and emotional symptoms due to stress. It allows you to check in on your body and bring awareness to all the aches, pains, tension, or general discomfort you may be feeling.
With this awareness, you'll be able to bring some relief to the discomfort, which will ultimately help you alleviate some of the stress you may be feeling. After practicing this for a while, you'll be able to identify pretty quickly how your body feels when you're stressed.
This deep awareness of how your body reacts to your emotions is a powerful tool in keeping a calm mind.
7. Mindful Running
We've separated out running as its own form of mindful movement exercise because running, like walking, is an underrated mindful exercise. Mindful running means being in the present and taking in your body and surroundings as you move your feet.
Nike partnered with Headspace on a series of audio-guided mindful runs via the Nike+ Run Club app.
These are brilliant as it guides you through your run, making you a better runner. Our personal favorite is the Celebration Run. It really gets you thinking about how to celebrate your wins, and the 25 min run goes quickly.
8. Setting Intentions
This doesn't involve a lot of movement, but it gives your mind a bit of a workout.
Setting intentions in your week or day can help you reset after the hustle and bustle that life brings.
Bringing everything back to you with some mindful affirmations is a great practice to build into your day-to-day.
Source: @stefanie.mira.e Instagram
We like using a prompted journal, like this one found at UNPLUG, where you'll be able to reflect on your day and write down what your intentions are for the day to come.
As you move through your day, get into the habit of coming back to your intentions, as it'll reconnect you to the priorities you've set for yourself.
9. Enjoy Every Mouthful
This one isn't about chewing your food 30 times per bite. Mindful eating is about eating without distractions. Put that phone away, and sit at a table instead of in front of the TV. Mindful eating encourages you to pay attention to the taste, smell, and textures of your food, as well as your body's hunger and satiety cues.
No longer are you expected to eat everything on your plate just because. Are you actually hungry, and do you feel full after you've eaten? Do you like what you're eating? Does it taste good, or are you just eating it for the sake of it?
Being in tune with what you're putting in your body should include how it goes in your body and how it makes you feel. Next time you're sitting down to eat, just remember, slow down. Make eating an experience not something to get done quickly.
10. Take A Pause
When was the last time you just took a pause in your day? Not just when you were about to go to sleep. Building regular short pauses into your day is a great way to center yourself throughout your day.
It doesn't involve much. Just pause, take a big deep breath in, hold it, and let it out slowly. Do this a couple of times, and then get back to your day.
Another way to take a pause is to practice mindfulness before you sleep. Mindful movement meditation sleep involves practicing meditation just before you head to bed. You'll be on your way to a deep sleep straight after.
11. Foot Grounding
Also known as Earthing, this is about feeling the ground you stand on. So put away your shoes, and head outside for this mindful exercise, preferably a grassy area or sand (like the beach). Place your bare feet and hands into the grass or sand and just feel it.
Source: Unsplash by Clint Mckoy
Earthing therapy is built around the assumption that connecting to the planet's energy is healthy for our souls and bodies. So by feeling nature, you can bring the benefits into your body.
You don't need much. Our minimal Kathmandu set with a light top, found online at UNPLUG, will prepare you for your session connecting with Mother Nature.
What Are Mindful Exercises
Any form of movement, like riding a bike, lifting weights, or sweating it out on a treadmill, can all be forms of mindful exercise. As long as you're moving your body.
Shift your thinking away from your busy day into how you're moving and breathing. This is where mindfulness comes in. It's making you disconnect from the chaos, so you can reconnect with yourself.
What is a Mindful Exercise Class
This would include mindful yoga, Pilates, or any sort of class where mindfulness techniques are used to teach students to place all their attention on the movements of their body and their breathing.
If you're looking for a class near you, just read the class bio to see if the class focuses on the mental element instead of just the physical.