Mindfulness is a way of life that lets you practice self-awareness for your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Mindfulness and meditation pair well together, and while both have similar concepts, they’re both still entirely different topics. When you incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life, you find it easier to deal with negative emotions like stress and anxiety. There are several activities of mindfulness you can do, even when you’re with a group. In this article, we’ll share mindful group activities you can engage in with others to help you live mindfully.
8 Mindful Group Activities to Practice with Others
1. Mindful Eating Exercise
We don’t always watch what we’re eating, which is why it’s so easy to fall into unhealthy eating habits. When you practice mindful eating exercises as a group, this can help you become aware of what you’re putting inside your body. Being aware of your eating habits takes practice, as it’s not always easy to become self-aware with your diet and lifestyle. The most important question to ask yourself with this activity is whether you’re hungry or eating to cope with your emotions – boredom, anxiety, stress, depression, or even joy. Compared to doing this alone, mindful eating is more fun when practiced as a group since you share your overall experiences. You also hold yourself and others accountable for being self-aware of your eating habits. When you learn mindful eating, this changes how well you can focus in the present moment.
To start with this mindful group activity, choose the food you all enjoy and pretend you’ve never seen or tasted it before. And to be honest, you probably haven’t noticed the flavors as intensely as you will when you try this. Then, slowly put the food in your mouth and look at how it makes you feel, and notice the swirling flavors in your mouth. Like any other mindful group activities, your focus should be on that food alone and nothing else, so erase everything else from your mind. You can experiment with this by combining other food items on your plate to notice how the flavors change.
When practicing mindful group activities like mindful eating, aim to be quiet while eating so you can absorb and appreciate the flavors. After the meal is complete, discuss what the flavors tasted like, whether you enjoyed them, and what you felt after eating with a concentrated focus on chewing and tasting.
2. Mindful Communication
It’s not always easy to pay attention to how we communicate and get our point across in a fast-paced, digital world. Balancing both listening and speaking is hard. It’s difficult to listen with the right intentions and respond to what the other person is saying. Most people are thinking about their response before the other person even makes their point.
By practicing mindful communication, you can build healthy communication skills to improve the relationships and friendships you have in your life, and practice mindful living. This activity requires you to release every thought you have and focus solely on the person to whom you’re speaking. This mindful group activity is a great group exercise since you can practice attentive communication with that group’s members. Don’t be frustrated when you have trouble releasing your thoughts when communicating, as that is a common tendency. However, the more you practice this mindful group activity, the more aware you become of listening and speaking to the person to whom you’re communicating.
When practicing mindful communication in a group setting, focus on listening. Let everyone communicate their points. Afterward, take a few moments to think about how you want to respond after everyone else has spoken. You don’t need a quick response when practicing this activity. Give yourself time to think.
3. Six Sense-Doors Activity
The Six Sense Doors Activity is a mindful group activity that involves being aware of all your six senses from the name itself. The six senses in this context are hearing, seeing, smelling, touching, tasting, and thinking. This activity’s origins come from Buddhist teachings to experience an enlightened world by being mindful of our six senses and what they can provide. For this exercise, all group members should be sitting down in a circle. Each participant has to say what they’re hearing, thinking, seeing, and so forth in the present moment. It might be overwhelming at first, but it teaches you to become aware of your surroundings and your internal emotions and thoughts through your six senses. After the designated person says what they’re thinking, hearing, seeing, and feeling, they must name one of the six senses for the next person to talk about first. Doing this helps prevent any member of the group plan what they have to say in advance. After all, this defeats the entire concept and purpose of mindfulness to focus on the present moment. If you’re planning in your head, you aren’t paying attention and listening to the people around you. By engaging in this mindful group activity, it allows you to focus on your current state. It also helps you notice something you usually wouldn’t have been aware of because of the lack of mindfulness and focus.
4. Mindfulness Full-Body Scan
While most people practice a body scan alone (feel free to check out our free guided body scan meditation on our app), you can also practice this in a group setting. Like other mindful group activities on this list, you must first empty your thoughts before starting. Afterward, focus on one body part at a time and reflect on the sensations you feel in every section of your body. Do this gradually for each body part, from top to bottom. Once you’ve practiced the body scan with others, discuss how you felt and if you struggled with any reoccurring thoughts during the exercise. Share your reflections and realizations with the group and exchange what kind of impact it did on your overall ability to be self-aware and mindful of the present moment.
One benefit of practicing a body scan with others or even with a guided meditation teacher is that you learn how to notice how your body feels when you’re alone with enough practice. By getting in the habit of doing body scans, you’ll learn how to manage fleeting pain, tingling, itches, warmth, pressure, and so forth.
5. Mindful Music
Music is often used as a distraction or background music when we use it to work on our mindfulness abilities. As a group, choose one song you all enjoy and play the song for its entirety two to three times. As the song is playing, focus on one element of that song, whether it’s the melody, lyrics, a particular instrument, or how it makes you feel. When you listen to it a second time, aim to listen to a different part of the song and re-evaluate your feelings. You may even notice a difference in sounds you hear when listening with earphones or speakers.
Hold on tightly what you feel during this mindful group activity. Avoid letting your thoughts distract you at some point during the exercise. After the song ends, discuss with other group members how being aware of that song made you feel and discuss things like what emotions arose, what thoughts came up during the exercise, which sensations and feelings arise in your body, and what kind of instruments you’ve heard. Reflect on whether there were new elements of the song you became aware of with every version of the song you hear. Each person in the group should share their unique experience of mindfully listening to a track they love.
6. Mindful walking
Moving your body is one of the best mindful group activities because you can practice this from anywhere. Mindful walking is also an excellent opportunity to step outside into nature and enjoy the fresh air while being incredibly aware of your intentions. Start mindful walking by letting go of everything that’s currently bothering or worrying you. Afterward, start walking and notice all of your surroundings, such as the pace of your breathing, the sound of the leaves rustling, the way you’re walking, and how this entire activity makes you feel. Also, take a moment to look in different directions. How uncommon it is to stop for a moment to look up. What do you notice when you move your eyes upwards? It’s these intricate details that make for a mindful group mindfulness exercise. Mindful walking is a great way to determine how your body reacts, moves, and feels while being in the great outdoors. You can do this for approximately 15 to 20 minutes a day, both in a group setting and alone. After you’ve done the necessary mindful walking, discuss with the group how that activity made you feel afterward.
When practicing mindful walking with a group, minimize the chatter to help you live more presently in your surroundings. While it may be uncomfortable for some, avoid bringing your phone or music as it may distract you from enjoying the splendid sounds of nature.
7. Mindful yoga
Unlike the popular notion that yoga is just an exercise to move your body, it’s also counted as a mindfulness activity that helps you let go of your thoughts and focus better on the present moment. When you combine yoga and mindfulness into one exercise, you appreciate your body more and feel more relaxed. Even with simple yoga poses like the tree pose, this allows you to breathe and pause on everything. Life is always so fast-paced that you fail to pause and appreciate everything as it is. With mindful yoga, you can move your body with a group, and the instructor will tell you the correct posture, breathing technique, and emotions to incorporate as you’re doing it. Mindful yoga is one of the most underrated yet effective mindfulness activities you can do that help you cope with any negative thoughts and emotions you’re currently dealing with. You’ll likely practice yoga with a room full of people making this a mindful group activity to enjoy with others.
8. Mindful meditation
Next, we have mindful meditation as a mindful group exercise you can do, which we’ve mentioned earlier. Meditation is a breathing exercise that lets you focus on simply one thing: your breath. It focuses on inhaling and exhaling while allowing your thoughts to come and go through the process. The goal isn’t to eliminate thoughts as it’s something you don’t have control over. However, you’ll watch your thoughts from an almost outsider perspective. The purpose of self-awareness is that you’re able to reflect on your thoughts and emotions, even when it’s not always easy to do. With mindful meditation, you regain control back in your life, and only in accepting your thoughts and emotions for what they are can you fully let them go. Mindful meditation can be done in a group setting, especially when you’re doing a guided meditation. Guided meditation is where a person leads the meditation practice to help train you into staying focused during the exercise. The more you practice meditation, the better you become mindful of your daily interactions with others. Most people start meditation practices with a guide. If you can’t practice with a guide in person, you can try out the Declutter The Mind app as it has guided meditations for focus, anxiety, depression, mindfulness, and many more.
In this article, we shed insight into everything you needed to know on mindful group activities to develop self-awareness and mindfulness. With these mindful group activities, you can focus better on the present moment while also letting go of your worries, fears, and doubts that come to you through your thoughts. Mindfulness isn’t just a practice but a way of life. By engaging in these group activities for mindfulness, you can better incorporate mindful activities into your everyday life.