6 Mindfulness Exercises To Supercharge Your Zen

Published by Paul Martin Harrison on

mindful habits listening to nature

Hi my zen-sational readers. Today I’d like to talk about mindfulness exercises for beginners. There are lots of great mindfulness exercises that beginners can do. They’re fun, healthy, relaxing and they will boost your happiness in as little as a few minutes.

So if you’re the type of healthy, positive-minded person who likes to try new techniques, give these a shot. Take twenty minutes right now to try these mindfulness exercises. I promise you will be very glad that you did.



Six Simple Mindfulness Exercises for beginners To Get You Started

These beginners mindfulness exercises are absolutely zen-sational. Give each one a shot and let me know how you get on. Make sure you’ve read our Beginners Guide To Mindfulness before you start.

1: One Minute Breathing

Mindful breathing is the single most important mindfulness technique.

This exercise is highly versatile. You can do it just about anywhere, whether you’re lying in bed or out for a walk. And it only takes sixty seconds.

Simply breathe in through your nose, hold for a count of five, and then breathe out slowly. As you breathe, focus on letting your breath flow naturally and easily.

At times your mind will lose its anchor and you’ll find yourself flooded with thoughts. Simply observe those thoughts. Let them be. Let them go. Watch your breath with your senses. Observe as your breath becomes one with the wider universe.

If you thought you would never be able to meditate, guess what? You’re now meditating, and it only took one minute.


2: Mindfully observing the beauty of nature

simply spending 20 minutes mindfully observing nature will make you happier and healthier.

This is a very easy mindfulness exercise, but it’s also highly potent. It’s one of my personal favourites, too. It connects you to the beauty of nature.

To do this exercise, start by picking an object of natural beauty; a waterfall, for instance, or a flower.

Once you’ve chosen a subject to meditate on, begin to observe the object through your senses. You can do this in just a couple of minutes, that’s all.

I personally love rainbows. Whenever there’s a rainbow out I’ll spend five minutes just mindfully observing it.

Allow yourself to really appreciate and enjoy the beauty of the thing you’re meditating on. Let your spirit connect with the object. You will find this immensely relaxing.


  1. Train your brain to be mindful automatically 

This exercise is a way of creating “anchor points”. With this exercise you’ll naturally train your brain to become mindful at specific moments.

It’s easier than it sounds. If you’d like to do this exercise, simply pick a few things that you do every day—for instance, turning the door handle, having a shower, opening the curtains…

When you open the curtains (for example) allow yourself to be completely mindful. Take that moment, those few seconds, to be completely mindful—the same with turning the door handle or having a shower. Make those your mindful moments.

Every day you perform these simple tasks, allow yourself to be mindful. Through a process of repetition you will train your brain to naturally be mindful at those moments. The process will soon become automatic. Then, you’ll have mindful moments without even having to try.

I love this exercise because it allows you to take mundane every day activities—like turning a door handle—and turn them into your own little moments of mindfulness.

4: Mindful Listening

Practicing mindful listening will make you more aware and more focused on the present moment. It’s another great mindfulness exercise.

Everyone loves a good listener, right? But even better than a good listener is a mindful listener.

Mindful listening is all about listening to people in a non-judgmental fashion. Not only is this excellent for the person you’re listening to, but it’s fantastic for you too.

Most of us are highly influenced by the things we hear. It can be quite easy to become irritated when someone says something thoughtless, for instance. But when you practice mindful listening you stop being affected by words.

When you’re listening to someone speaking, just focus on the sound. Don’t judge, just listen.

You can also do this activity with music. If you play an instrument you likely do this already. I’ve played piano for thirty years. When I play I sink into the music. I let it take me. I flow with the sound of the piano.

And if you’re not a musician, hey, no sweat, just put a piece of relaxing music on and listen to it mindfully. You’ll find this supremely tranquil.



5: Do what you’d do anyway, just do it mindfully

The Wax On Wax Off scene from The Karate kid is all about mindfulness. Mr Miyagi is giving Daniel a mindfulness exercise.

A lot of us literally don’t have any time at all. I know there are often days when I’d do anything for five minutes just to chill in. How do you practice mindfulness on days like those?

The trick is to take an activity that you’d do anyway. For instance, you have to do the dishes. Why not do the dishes mindfully? Or how about eating. You have to have dinner, why not eat mindfully?

Three awesome things happen when you do chores mindfully: 1) You get a good spot of mindfulness, 2) You complete the task you have to do anyway, and 3) You do that task quicker and better than normal because you’re focusing on it.

So, do the thing you need to do, just do it mindfully.

You remember the scene from The Karate Kid when Mr Miyagi is teaching Daniel to clean his car, and he says “Wax on, wax off”. He’s teaching Daniel to clean his car in a mindful way. The trick is to be one with the movements, one with the “wax on” and one with the “wax off”. Be mindful.

By doing tasks mindfully you’ll get the task done better and quicker, and you’ll get some free mindfulness. It’s a win / win situation. And the true is that you can do anything in a mindful way. You can even lie down in bed mindfully. So the idea of not having another time is bull poop.

6:  Describe things to yourself

Try mindfully describing the beauty you see. This beautiful sky, for instance. What do you see when you mindfully observe a beautiful sky like this?

Talking to yourself is usually considered a sign of insanity. This exercise flips that notion on its head.

The trick here is to observe the things you’re experiencing through your senses.

If you’re out for a walk, describe the sky—the colours, the shapes, the feelings it creates in you—describe the scenery, describe the motion of walking, and so on.

This simple exercise trains your mind to be aware of your senses. It improves the communication between your conscious mind and your unconscious mind. And all you need do is describe a few things around you.

My favorite way of doing this is by using these mindful writing exercises.


7. Try these mindfulness exercises for people with petst.

Even if you’re busy, you still have time to practice mindfulness. It’s really quite easy. Give these exercises a shot. You might just find they make all the difference to your days.

And now, you can try these 25 daily mindful habits, too.

Or, if you are interested in meditating as a family, take a look at my guide to teaching mindfulness to kids.

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Paul Martin Harrison

Paul Harrison is a meditation teacher, author and journalist based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential. Don’t miss Paul’s inspirational and enlightening book Journey To The Buddha Within You.

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