10 Mindfulness Group Activities and Exercises for Teams

Mindfulness is something that can help everyone. Whereas you can practice mindfulness alone, it can also be highly beneficial when practiced in groups. Mindfulness exercises for groups bring people together to live in the moment. Whether you wish to practice being in the present or work to resolve a pain point, mindfulness is a technique worth exploring.

Related: What Is Mindfulness? How Does Mindfulness Help Us Seize The Day?

Daily life has a habit of causing us to lose track, and the mind can wander. Sometimes, gaining focus is a challenge for many, and meditation and mindfulness techniques are proven to help provide tools to be in the present and improve wellness. Clinical studies also talk about the therapeutic qualities.

The benefits of mindfulness have formed the basis of many scientific studies pointing to various positive outcomes. Since the early history of mindfulness in the East, through growing awareness and popularity, more and more people now have the opportunity to practice mindfulness.

So, whether you want to improve your focus, achieve more, or feel at peace with your surroundings, mindfulness practice will bring you back to the present moment.

Developing group mindfulness exercises or group meditation can be a great way to experience mindfulness and grow with others. There are activities, techniques, and creative exercises, all of which can be done in groups. You'll meet people to share the journey with, have fun, and learn from each other.

Related: Get inspired to practice mindfulness with our curation of some of the best mindfulness quotes from practitioners, experts, and advocates.

10 Mindfulness Activities for Groups

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1. Balloon Play

Balloon Play
Photo by Andreas Weiland on Unsplash

Balloons are a lot of fun, and we tend to forget that as adults. This might feel as though it is an exercise aimed at children. Despite this, it is a great way of bringing people of all age groups into the moment in a group setting.

The group can blow up the balloons together, and once complete, the group works together to stop them from hitting the floor. Balloon play focuses on concentration and brings people into the moment and immediate environment in which they find themselves.

Related: Eco-Friendly Balloons and Plastic-Free Alternatives.

2. Colouring Books

Coloring books might be synonymous with children, but adult coloring books are a brilliant way of practicing mindfulness in a group.

Group members can color in a certain section; all it takes is a book and some pencils, and the group can get started. This exercise requires a level of focus while the concentration will enable participants to experience a presence of mind. And everyone gets to express their creativity. Who knows, together, you might create a masterpiece.

Adult Colouring Books Amazon:

3. Enjoy the Beat of Music with Some Dancing

Groups Dancing
Photo by Ardian Lumi on Unsplash

Dancing makes us feel good and is a great activity to enjoy with others. Mindful dancing can prove both beneficial and a lot of fun when done in a group. It is not about being good at dancing; instead, it is about living in the moment and listening to the music and the sounds around you.

This rich mindfulness exercise lets you focus on your breathing and indulge the mind and body. In the workplace, it is also an effective addition to team-building activities.

4. Active Listening

The aim of this exercise is to work in pairs. Participants can then concentrate on what their partner is saying instead of thinking about how they plan to respond. To get the most from this, it works best if pairs are made up of people who do not know each other. This can help create togetherness while ensuring participants listen and practice mindfulness.

One partner will ask a question, and the other will actively listen to what they are saying. The other partner should listen to the question and how it sounds. Partners then have to switch around asking questions and answering them. Again, this is not about the questions and answers but more about active and mindful listening.

The pairs must understand that one partner has to ask a question repeatedly. The other has to repeatedly answer before they switch and ask the same questions again.

5. Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is another mindfulness exercise for groups. Every group member will need to pay attention to what they are eating. Mindful eating is also a good activity for those who suffer from eating disorders.

As each group member is given a particular food, they can begin explaining how that makes them feel. There are tastes and smells to think about, as well as the texture. Whatever it might be, focusing on what they are eating and sharing with the group provides a tool to help develop the presence of mind.

Mindful Eating Books on Amazon:

6. Beats Listening Game

The Beats listening game incorporates mindfulness and is perfect for those in groups. This exercise aims for individuals to become familiar with the sounds around them. As such, the group must avoid distractions and pay attention to the beats.

In a circle, the first person makes a sound, a beat, or a rhythm. The following person repeats the sound but with an added beat. This moves around the group, with each person adding a sound. If a beat is missed, they are out of the exercise.

The beats listening game helps to train the mind so that it can focus on a single thing. It also allows participants to remove or ignore distractions while concentrating on the beat and their patterns.

7. Mindfulness Bell Exercise

The mindfulness bell exercise is a simple yet effective group activity designed to cultivate a sense of presence and awareness. It involves the use of a bell, a chime, or any instrument that produces a long, resonant sound.

The leader of the exercise rings the bell, and participants are guided to focus their complete attention on the sound from the moment it resonates until it fades completely. This is more than just listening; it's about being fully present and aware in the moment.

Practicing this exercise has several benefits. The bell serves as an auditory cue that helps participants bring their wandering minds back to the present. It fosters an environment of collective consciousness, as everyone in the group shares a common focus. Furthermore, it trains individuals to be more attentive and observant in their daily lives as they learn to notice subtle changes in the sound and its resonance.

8. Walking Meditation

The practice of walking meditation can be a powerful tool to encourage mindfulness in a group setting. Unlike traditional meditation, which often requires silence and stillness, walking meditation involves movement and can be particularly helpful for those who find seated meditation challenging.

This technique allows the participants to focus on the sensation of walking, the feeling of their feet touching the ground, and the rhythm of their breath while moving.

Walking meditation is a simple exercise that can be done anywhere, from a quiet forest trail to a bustling city sidewalk. Group participants can synchronize their steps with their breath, bringing their attention to the present moment.

The rhythmic nature of walking provides a physical focal point that aids in quieting the mind and helps participants connect with their environment. This exercise promotes mindfulness and fosters a sense of unity within the group.

9. Six Sense-Doors Activity

This group exercise comes from Buddhist teaching and how we experience the world through six gateways. Every moment we come across involves an experience. It is these experiences that enter our awareness via the six senses3. The six senses include seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and the mind. The mind-door is the door that links to our thoughts, mental images, and emotions.

The group should position themselves in a circle to carry out this exercise. Then, each person has to say what they are thinking, feeling, hearing, and seeing at that moment in time. Once all members understand what is happening, the individual will name one of the six sense doors.

So, someone might say that they can hear the birds and name the sense as hearing. The following person will then have to identify something that they can hear.

Therefore, this exercise conducted in group settings prevents people from thinking about what they want to say in advance. Waiting for the person to name their sense-door encourages focus, paying attention, and listening. Along with this, they must be mindful of what is around them.

10. The Body Scan Activity

Many of us fail to listen to what our bodies tell us. Therefore, the body scan activity is perfect for mindful group activities. This mindfulness exercise can help us to slow down. Along with this, it enables us to reconnect with our bodies.

This "senses exercise" requires a quiet setting. It should be free from distractions and have enough space for participants to lie down. A guide is needed for this exercise as they can help the group scan specific areas of the body using their awareness.

To begin, participants will need to get comfortable in a lying-down position. It is a position that should be comfortable enough to stay in for around twenty minutes.

Guided practice

The first step begins with the guide helping the group to focus on a chosen part of their body. Using mindful breathing, they should focus on deep breaths and remain still and relaxed.

Now that they have focused on their breath, the guide can ask them to become aware of how their body feels. They should pay mindful attention to pains, soreness, physical sensations, or even how their skin feels in contact with their clothing2. After they have held this awareness for a couple of minutes, the body scan can start.

Now, the guide will tell the group to focus on a specific area of their body. For example, this could be the hands or toes. They will then need to focus on this single area of the body for a minute or two before moving on to the next area. The guide must inform the group to wait before moving on to a new body part.

After the entire body has been scanned, the guide will tell the group to focus on their breathing again. Participants will feel relaxed energy within the room, so breathing will make them feel good. At this point, the guide can ask them to note how they are feeling, especially if they are feeling different from how they started the exercise.

Once the exercise is over, the group can discuss the experience. They can share their feelings and what they thought about the exercise.

Why Practice Mindfulness in Groups?

Mindfulness Groups
Photo by Chang Duong on Unsplash

Mindfulness is becoming more popular. It is recognized in the workplace, and more people are taking time out to practice it. Each of the above free group mindfulness activities will help participants start practicing mindfulness, which presents many positives, together or alone.

Many different group settings can use mindfulness techniques. For example, mindfulness group therapy activities are now being used in everything from groups of men with advanced prostate cancer1 to people suffering from other forms of cancer. They are finding that it also benefits their emotional health and can help to relieve stress.

Introducing mindfulness enables people to become more aware of themselves. It removes any influences from the outside world while giving people the opportunity to feel in control. With this self-awareness comes an understanding of who we are.

Picking up on feelings, sensations, and more shows us what we often miss out on in life. Similarly, it brings with it an element of clarity and focus while removing fears, anger, and doubts. It shows us that the mind can wander and that we have the ability to bring it back.

Taking time to be in the moment

We all lead busy lives, and a lack of focus comes with this. We fail to recognize what is around us as we race to meetings or pick up the children from school. Mindfulness can show you how to feel at peace again. What's more, the more frequently you practice it, the more you can use it.

And even better, mindfulness games and group exercises allow you to share the moment with others, furthering connections and personal relationships.

So, when you find that things are getting too much or you need to stop, mindfulness and mindfulness meditation can help you find clarity in moments of madness. The best thing about it is that it can be as simple as sitting down, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breathing. That is all it takes.

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1Chambers, S.K., Foley, E., Galt, E. et al. Mindfulness groups for men with advanced prostate cancer: a pilot study to assess feasibility and effectiveness and the role of peer support. Support Care Cancer 20, 1183–1192 (2012) doi:10.1007/s00520-011-1195-8
2

Ussher, M., Spatz, A., Copland, C. et al. Immediate effects of a brief mindfulness-based body scan on patients with chronic painJ Behav Med 37, 127–134 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-012-9466-5

3The Clinical Use of Mindfulness Meditation Techniques in Short-term Psychotherapy. Gary Deatherage, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Main Photo @mariodobelmann on Unsplash
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