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  • Writer's pictureKat Schultz

5 Mindfulness Exercises That Aren't Meditation



Mindfulness practice is indicated to improve memory, decrease depression, assist in emotion regulation, reduce stress and even improve physical health. Mindfulness is about being grounded in your body and mind in the present moment. However, when many people think of mindfulness, their minds go to meditation. Meditation is a very beneficial practice but the truth is that you can do just about anything mindfully. Mindfulness doesn't have to be sitting in silence! Here are 5 other ways to practice mindfulness:


Mindful Walk | You can practice mindfulness while walking! Forgo the earbuds in favor of observing the natural sounds of wherever you're walking. Use your other senses to take in your surroundings. You can even walk somewhere familiar and see how many new things you notice. Try to focus your attention on your walk and let other thoughts float out of your mind without clinging to them.


Guided Meditation | In this form of meditation, you listen to someone guiding you through the exercises. There are many platforms to find these audios or videos on. We even have a number of them on the Online DBT Skills YouTube page. Again, let your thoughts come and go without extending them or getting lost down a rabbit hole.


Mindful Listening | Take a moment and listen to an instrumental song with your full attention. Try a song you haven't listened to before. Make sure to listen to the whole song and to keep your thoughts focused on what you're hearing. Observe the sounds and instruments.


Non-Dominant Hand Drawing | Gather up a pen and paper and find a comfortable place to draw. Place the pen in your non-dominant hand and get going! You can draw a simple object or just abstract scribbles. The idea is to focus on the sensations of using the hand you don't normally use. Focus your whole attention on the activity.


54321 | This grounding exercise runs you through your five senses. In whatever space you're in, look for 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. Name the objects and observe them. Focus your entire attention on what you're doing.

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