8 Excellent mindfulness group therapy activities
Mindfulness can be described as focusing your awareness on the present moment. This is while acknowledging your feelings, thoughts and sensations. This article offers some mindfulness group activities for adults, along with mindfulness group therapy activities.
1. The body scan exercise
As far as mindfulness group therapy activities go, one of the most popular exercises is the body scan. This is because it requires very little tools or props and is good for beginners. This exercise has 5 steps:
- Step 1) You can either do this exercise lying on your back with your feet slightly apart, or by sitting on a comfortable chair with your feet resting on the floor.
- Step 2) You should lie very still, but to move with awareness if you feel you need to adjust your position.
- Step 3) Now you should begin to focus on your experience of breathing in and out and noticing the rhythm of your breaths.
- Step 4) You should now begin to pay attention to your body. This includes feeling the surface that your body is resting in, the temperature of your body and the texture of your clothes against your skin.
- Step 5) Starting the body scan, you run thought each area of your body (starting at your feet and working all the way up to your head) and pay special attention to how each area feels.
After the scan is complete, you can slowly open your eyes and move to a more comfortable position.
2. The five senses exercise
This is a quick mindfulness exercises for groups that you can do at any time and in any situation.
- Step 1) Notice 5 things that you can see. This can be anything, such as a crack in the concrete or a shadow.
- Step 2) Notice 4 things that you can feel. This could be the breeze of on your skin, or the surface of a chair.
- Step 3) Notice 3 things that you can hear. This could be the faint sound of traffic, or the hum of the refrigerator.
- Step 4) Notice 2 things you can smell. Such as food, or the smell of flowers.
- Step 5) Notice one thing you can taste. This could be a sip of drink or a bite of food. Or even seeing if the air has a taste.
3. Mindful eating
With mindfulness exercises for groups, another popular activity is mindful eating. Sit somewhere comfortably and allow your body to relax. Pay attention to the way that your body is feeling and the sounds and smells of the environment. Take a small piece of food, such as chocolate or a raisin, and notice how it feels in your hand. Notice it’s shape and colour.
Next, notice how the food smells and how strong the scent is, before putting it in your mouth and noticing the taste. Is it sharp, sweet, bitter? How does it feel on your tongue? After it’s gone, notice the leftover taste in your mouth and bring your attention back to your body and your environment.
4. Noticing another
With mindfulness group activities for adults, another simple exercise is noticing another. This activity allows you to train your focus to notice your surroundings and to be in the present moment. This exercise works best in pairs and is an excellent mindfulness exercises for groups.
- Step 1) Sit facing each other
- Step 2) Take turns to tell each other what you appreciate and like about the other person. You can let your attention change from their physical presence to any other things about them. This could be their ability to be motivated or their sense of humour.
5. The listening game
This mindfulness exercises for groups allows you to focus your full attention on the sounds surrounding you. It is a simple exercise and requires very little tools and props.
- Step 1) Everyone in the group should form a circle
- Step 2) The first person starts by making a sound. This could either be a single beat or a simple rhythm.
- Step 3) You then go around the circle with each person repeating the sound and then adding their own to the pattern.
- Step 4) If a person misses a sound then they are out of the game. If you are out of the game then you should then attempt to distract the remaining players. The last person remaining wins.
6. Progressive muscle relaxtion
A further popular mindfulness group therapy activities is the progressive muscle relaxation exercise, which uses the general squeeze and release relaxation technique.
- Step 1) You should lie down or sit on a chair where you will be comfortable.
- Step 2) Starting from your toes and working all the way up your body to your face, squeeze each part of your body and hold the tension for a couple of seconds before releasing. Notice the feeling of tension and release in your muscles as you work your way up.
- Step 3) This exercise can also be used with fewer parts of your body such as squeezing and releasing your hands. This is good if you’re short of time or are in a public place such as work.
7. Objects in a bag
This is an easy mindfulness group activities for adults that requires only a solid bag that you can’t see through, and some random objects.
- Step 1) Take it in turns to place a random object in the back. Try and make them different in both texture and shape.
- Step 2) Pass around the bag and take it in turns to feel the bag and try to guess the objects. Focus on how the object feels through the bag. Is it smooth, rough or uneven?
8. Write it down
This mindfulness group activities for adults only requires some paper and a pen or pencil.
- Step 1) Write down what is happening right now in your surroundings.
- Step 2) Then repeat this but describe your thoughts.
- Step 3) Carry on describing and also include information on how your body feels such as physical sensations.
- Step 4) You should then notice and describe what this activity has felt like to you. Observe and describe your experience.
- Step 5) Finally, take it in turns and read aloud your writing and experiences to the group. Notice the similarities and differences between everyone’s accounts.