🚢 Good news - shipping to the UK is always free! 🚢
My account
Mental well-being

Accidental mindfulness: 5 mindful activities you probably already do

Mindfulness isn’t restricted to meditation and mantras. In fact, you might already be more mindful than you realise…

June 08, 2021
6 min read

Be where you are, otherwise you will miss your life.

A quote from Buddha to begin an article about mindfulness? How original.

Much of the imagery of mindfulness in the West is steeped in Asian religion and spirituality. It implies an ‘other’, a philosophy that is pinned to a specific, different place, rather than something that applies to absolutely everyone.

Of course, Buddhism has a lot to say about being mindful, and it’s well worth looking into if you’re interested, but you can practise mindfulness in your day-to-day life, with activities you probably already do.

How to be mindful

Being mindful isn’t all about being silent, stopping your thoughts, accessing some abstract spiritual plane. It’s just being here. Now. In the moment.

That’s easier said than done. Particularly with the pressures caused by the pace of modern life. Especially in the wake of a pandemic. Even more so when even the process of reopening is causing stress and anxiety. 

There are ways to make it more simple, though. Once you cut through everything else, being mindful happens in three steps—observation, description, participation.


By observing, we mean exactly that. Just noticing what’s going on, without any opinion or judgement. If you can notice what is happening before reacting, you’ll become more aware of your natural tendencies, whether that’s self-doubt, subconscious distraction, or obsessing over specific (and usually hypothetical) scenarios. The more you observe, the more you can teach yourself to quieten your mind, and let distracting thoughts pass by.


Describing to yourself what you are thinking and how you are feeling can give you invaluable space to process. This can feel pretty awkward—many of us naturally shy away from trying to discuss, or frame, our feelings. But putting effort into knowing why a feeling might be surfacing can help you to understand and connect with the situation.


Whatever you’re doing, get stuck in. The act of losing yourself in a task or situation is about as mindful as it gets. With so much going on both inside and outside of our brains, it’s easy to find yourself on autopilot and just go through the motions, rather than fully engaging in it. Ever get home from work with no recollection of the journey back? 

But that engagement is rewarding. As an exercise, Try listing your three favourite moments of the day before you go to bed. Knowing that you’ll need to remember something should subconsciously remind you to stay present during the day.

Get your guide

Get your free workbook to guide you through every step of the goal-setting process. 

It’ll take you around 2 hours to complete, but we guarantee you’ll come out of it feeling empowered, inspired, and committed to creating a life you absolutely love.

Everyday mindfulness activities

This goes to show that being mindful isn’t something that needs to exist separately from your normal life. In fact, chances are you already do a lot that could contribute to becoming more mindful. You just don’t recognise it yet.

Here are five of our favourite ideas for bringing a little more mindfulness into your life, without even noticing.

Hiking 🥾

Spending time in nature, away from the pace and stress of the city, is a great way to practise mindfulness. Physical exertion can help focus the mind on the present, filtering out any distraction or lingering worries. When you’re out on the trail, the only thing that matters is putting one foot in front of the other, and focusing on that motion can help you lose yourself in the moment.

And we shouldn’t gloss over the importance of beauty in nature. Gorgeous vistas, hidden grottoes, or even just a really good tree can draw us in, demanding our attention and without sacrificing the space we need to process.

Gardening 🌱

Gardening has long been associated with peace and meditation. From Zen Buddhism to Voltaire, gardens and the act of caring for them form the centre of many mindfulness philosophies. And while the dream of having a couple of acres to tend to might seem out of reach to most of us, even gardening on a very small scale can have a positive effect. A simple houseplant (if you’re after something that’s virtually indestructible, a ZZ plant is a good place to start,) can do wonders all on its own.


Think of the image of the master artisan. Their craft demands their entire attention—no distractions, no outside influence. They are completely in the moment. 

That’s one of the most important parts of mindfulness—being in the moment. If we look back at the framework of observation, description, and participation, it’s hard to think of an everyday activity that requires those three things more than DIY. Okay, so the results might not be the work of a master artisan, but it’s the process that matters, not the outcome.

Fishing 🎣

It might be the most stereotypical grumpy-dad pastime, but if we look past the surface, is there a more meditative, more mindful activity than fishing? 

If you’ve never been, you probably don’t understand the allure. But the sense of peace and stillness of the moment provide a sanctuary to retreat to. When you’re on the banks (or out on the water), you’re completely separate from the stress and stimulation of everyday life, which gives you a unique space for reflection and meditation. So next time your dad invites you, accept.

Mindful eating 🍎

What we eat is integral to our being. Eating is one of the most universal human experiences, and how we approach it can affect us in many ways.

We’ve all been guilty of scarfing a meal deal at a desk, or on the way to the pub. Needless to say, that doesn’t count as mindful eating. Instead, make time for the meal. Give yourself the time to prepare it, the time to eat it, and most importantly, the time to enjoy it. Think about the flavours and textures as you eat. And for god’s sake, don’t put the TV on.

(Bonus: food is tasty.)

Mindfulness at Heights

At Heights, we consider mindfulness to be one of the ten pillars of braincare, along with nutrition, movement, rest, and more. Together, they form a structure for taking care of your brain, so that it can take care of you.

For more articles and ideas about mindfulness, take a look at our complete guide.

Give your brain what it needs to reach full potential with the Smart Supplement

Learn more

Related articles
Mental well-being
4 ways to overcome perfectionism
Dan Murray-Serter
4 min read

About Heights

  • Our Mission
  • Our Experts
  • Learn
  • Student discount
  • Refer a friend
  • Careers
  • Braincare Podcast


Bring more braincare into your life, every week—tips for everyday life, podcasts, and exclusive community events.

By sharing your email address, you are agreeing to receive email marketing communications from Heights from time to time. We will not share your details with any 3rd parties. Please review our Privacy Policy for more information.

This product is not designed to replace a varied and balanced diet. Do not exceed stated dose. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any medication, please consult your doctor before use. Do not use it if the sachet has been opened. Store in a cool, dry place. Keep out of reach of children.

My cart
No products in your cart
Shipping to United Kingdom
Discount codes can be added at checkout