Mindfulness activities for groups have shown promising results in many cases. Experts find that these activities are as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in maintaining a healthy mind. If you need to nurture your mental and spiritual health, then this is great news for you.
Mindfulness group activities easy to start with:
#1 Mindful Seeing
This exercise is a great start for mindfulness beginners. The absence of visual stimuli can be stifling for those who are just starting off. Mindful seeing can be very helpful in guiding your mind.
How do you lead Mindful Seeing?
- Look through the window and find a spot where certain things can be seen.
- From that spot, look at the things there are to see. Do not label or categorize the things you see. For example, if you see a bird or stop sign, don’t think of them as that. Focus on their colors, patterns, and textures.
- Focus on the movement of things. See how grass or leaves move along the breeze. Also, take note of shapes. Can you see some triangles or circles from what you see?
- Whatever you see from the window, see them as if you’re unfamiliar with them.
- Be observant, but not critical.
- Be aware, but not fixated.
- In case you become distracted, you can gently pull your mind away. Notice a shape or color again to put you back on the right track.
One great thing about mindful seeing is that you can do this for only a few minutes each day. You’ll be surprised that there are beautiful things to discover in familiar things. And seeing such things, like an insect or flower, has a powerful calming effect.
#2 Mindful Listening for groups
Mindful listening is great because it’s a first-hand experience and you’ll surely notice the difference. It’s unique because it creates inner stillness among the group while one listens to many points of view.
Mindful listening involves the following steps:
- Each group member thinks of one thing that causes stress to them, and one thing they look forward to.
- Each then shares their story with the group and is guided to direct their attention to how it feels to speak about these two things.
- Participants are guided to observe their own thoughts, feelings and body sensations as they talk and listen.
- After each member has shared, they answer the following questions and discuss it with the group:
- How did you feel when speaking during the activity?
- How did you feel when listening during the activity?
- Did your mind wander during the activity? If so, what distracted you?
- What helped you to bring your attention back to the activity?
- Did your mind judge while listening to the other people? If so, did you feel anything in the body while you’re judging?
- Did you feel any empathy at times? If so, how did this feel in the body?
- Before you spoke, how did your body feel?
- After you spoke, how did your body feel?
- What are you feeling right now?
- What would happen if you did mindful listening with each person that you spoke with?
- Do you think mindful listening would change the way you relate and interact with others?
- How would it feel if you set yourself in paying attention with acceptance, curiosity, kindness to everything you said and everything you listened to?
As you can see, mindful listening can help you connect with yourself and others. It’s a great way to reconnect with the present moment and boosts your confidence.
#3 Mindful Walking Meditation for groups
Walking is amongst of the greatest mindfulness activities for groups. It’s just perfect for those who have a hard time in seated meditation.
Mindful walking step-by-step:
- Open your mind and heart to the experience. Let go of stress. Don’t feel insecure and don’t judge.
- Choose a place where you can focus on your steps. It can be anywhere, from a park to a wooded area.
- Start by walking at a slow pace. Breathe slowly and deeply as you walk, and connect your mind to your breaths.
- Is your mind rushed and stressed? Are you sad or worried? Be aware of your thoughts and feelings, and try to slow them down with your breaths. If you slip back into these thoughts and feelings, focus on your breaths and the present moment.
- Concentrate on your steps. Are they heavy or light? Are they even or uneven? Do you find it easy or hard to walk? As you walk, see what muscles contract and relax.
- Expand your awareness to external things. What is the weather like? Can you feel rain, wind, snow or heat? What do you see, smell, hear or taste?
Mindful walking helps relieve stress, worry, and anxiety, and it can bring inner peace and fulfillment. It is great as a group activity, as you can share your personal experiences with others.
Participating in group mindfulness activities will enable you to share and deepen your meditation practice and also improve your overall well-being.
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