Mini Mindfulness Exercises

1 Minute Breath

Set a timer for one minute (could be a digital timer or a sand timer). Sit in a comfortable position and for 1 minute feel your breath move in and out of your body.


5 S- Sharks

Put your hand in front of your nose, sideways with your thumb resting against your nose. You close your eyes, say ‘shhh’ and do the 5s’s- sit up straight, sit still, soft breathing and eyes shut.


Mindful Smelling

For your next snack or meal, try to close your eyes and bring a piece of food to your nose, in your hand or on a fork/ spoon. What do you notice?


Tense and Release

Standing up, tense your whole body, making your hands up into a fist, tighten your legs straight and arms down. Feel the tension in your body and release it, wiggle it out, what do you notice? Repeat.



For about a minute run on the spot, jump or hop. Put your hand on your chest afterwards, can you feel your heart beating. What do you notice?


Lift Breathing

You place your hands palm together but horizonal (flat) in front of you. As you breath in lift the hand on top upwards like a lift going up in a building. Then as you breathe out, lower the same hand down until you finish your breath and the hands are together. Repeat 5 times.


Balloon Breathing

Can be done sitting, but its even better lying down. Put your hands on your stomach, breathe in and let your hands lift off your tummy they are on a surface of a balloon being blown up. As you breathe out, let your hands return to where they were, as if the balloon is deflating.


Mindful Seeing

Sit down anywhere. Let your eyes find something and focus on that one thing, really look at it, as it if you have never seen it before (a crack on the ceiling, a bit of fluff on the floor, a piece of clothing).

What do you notice?

Try to repeat it twice more so you look at three things mindfully for about a minute each,

Tell me Something Good!

Take a minute to think of something good that happened today. It can be a big thing like I got to play with my friends (not happening much at the moment) or something small like I loved my breakfast.

You can share with someone, write it down or share it with your whole family at a mealtime and ask them to tell you something good!


Yawn to Reset!

At times when we need a pick up because you don’t have any energy or you’re feeling sad, nervous, disappointed or even angry, you can yawn to reset!

Stand up, then try to do the biggest yawn you have ever done, use your arms to stretch up, make fists with your hands, breathe in and out through your mouth. Next, stretch your fingers out wide and move your arms in a circle. Make it dramatic!


Hand Breathing/ Starfish Breathing

You put out one hand and with the index finger of the other hand, you slowly trace around all your fingers and thumb. The next step is to try and match your breathing. Breathing in going up your finger and slowly breathing out, tracing your down your finger.


Bubble Breathing

Imagine you have a bubble on top of your head. Visualise the colour, size and look of your bubble. Imagine it floating slowly down to your shoulders, as it does, relax that part of your body. The take it down to your belly, legs and feet. Take your time and let the bubble relax all your muscles.


Mindful Listening

Have a place to sit, it can be anyway that’s safe. Close your eyes and for a minute or two just focus on what you can hear. You may notice lots of things you don’t normally stop to notice.



Take a minute to think of 3 things you are feeling grateful for today- make it simple. This practice can help train our brain to look out for the positives.


Candle Breathing

This is a great calming exercise. Put a hand out in front of you, then pretend they are birthday candles that need to be blown out. Take a deep breath in and slowly breathe out onto your thumb, then repeat for the fingers too.

Stone/ Book Breathing (to encourage belly breathing)

Find a stone outside or you can use a book (I recommend a smaller one). Then lie down on your back and rest the stone or book on your tummy. You can either close your eyes and focus on your breathing or watch your stone or rock moving up and down slowly as you try to breathe all the way into your belly.



Affirmations are a way to set yourself up for a positive day. When you are brushing your teeth or hair in the morning you can say to yourself in the mirror, ‘Today will be a good day,’ ‘I believe in myself’ or Today I choose to be happy.’

Hand massage

Choose a hand to massage with your other hand, focus on how your massaged hand feels, take a minute to feel it, then swap hands. Just notice- that’s mindfulness!

Power on, power off

You can do this lying down or standing up. You tense your body, put your hands into fists and make your arms and legs straight and tense. Then release all the tension and let your body completely relax.


Mindful walking

Go for a walk, this can be for 3 minutes or as long as you want it. As you are walking, really be present with what you can hear, see and smell. Pick up a leaf and have a close look at it or smell a rose on a fence.