Mindfulness Exercises For Calm, Contentment & Happiness

Feel more calm, contentment and happiness with our free mindfulness exercises, guided meditations, mindfulness worksheets and more.

The Camel Knows The Way: Reflections on Faith

The Camel Knows The Way: Reflections On Faith

Spring Washam talks about reflections on faith through the story of The Camel Knows The Way. The talk about faith ...
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The Power of Yoga to Heal

The Wounded Warrior: The Power of Yoga to Heal

Dan Nevins talks about how yoga is a really good practice that not only heals the body but also nourishes ...
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monitoring stress reduction

Monitoring Stress Reduction

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Stress Reduction, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, ...
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knowing fear

Knowing Fear – Partner Exercise

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Knowing Fear, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, ...
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Faith [Audio] by Kamala Masters

Faith [Audio]

Kamala Masters leader talks about faith, and have reflections on faith. We may express it in different ways, of course, ...
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Thinking

Thinking

Matthew Brensilver talks about the importance of the ways of thinking. There are so many Buddhist teachings, valuable insights which ...
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Building Confidence for Social Settings and Meeting New People

Building Confidence For Social Settings And Meeting New People

Building Confidence For Social Settings. This script is a worthy consideration for intermediate to advanced groups ready to explore the ...
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Meditations 2 by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Meditations 2

Meditations 2. The Dhamma talks included in this volume were given during the evening meditation sessions, and in many cases ...
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Difficult Conversations

How to Have Difficult Conversations

1. Don't enter the conversation with your current emotions. When you're upset or want someone to change, it's easy to ...
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Skill in Questions How The Buddha Taught

Skill in Questions: How the Buddha Taught

The central role of questioning in the Buddha’s teaching may be connected to the fact that his teaching starts not ...
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Being Present

Being Present

Sharon Salzberg explores intimacy within the context of how we relate to ourselves in Being Present. How do you relate ...
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Why Teens Turn From Parents To Peers

Why Teens Turn from Parents to Peers [Video]

From an evolutionary perspective, we can understand why teens turn to their peers and away from their parents for security, ...
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Gil Fronsdal Guided Anapanasati Meditations

Guided Anapanasati: Relaxing and Cultivating Joy and Ease

Gil Fronsdal leads an Anapanasati Relaxing & Cultivating Joy & Ease. Taking 3 deep breaths to settle in to connect ...
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Gil Fronsdal Guided Anapanasati Meditations

Guided Anapanasati: Breath and Peripheral Awareness

Gil Fronsdal leads an Anapanasati Breath and Peripheral Awareness. Taking an upright alert posture. There's a connection between posture & ...
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With each & every breath

With Each & Every Breath: A Guide to Meditation

Here Is Your Free Ebook: https://mindfulnessexercises.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/With_Each__Every_Breath_A_Guide_to_Meditation.pdf MEDITATION: WHAT & WHY Meditation is training for the mind, to help it develop ...
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Body Scan Advanced

Body Scan, Advanced

Body Scan Advanced. This meditation script is a simple guide for leading a body awareness practice. It includes notes on ...
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Generosity and Gratitude

Generosity and Gratitude

Donald Rothberg talks about the relationship between Generosity and Gratitude. It's the spirit of giving is based on the feeling ...
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Stuck in Traffic

Stuck in Traffic

A helpful video that emphasizes the functionality of meditation practice involving a real-life scenario of keeping your cool despite the ...
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Knowing that Attention is Present

Knowing that Attention is Present

Phillip Moffitt leads a meditation to attention mindfulness awareness, to be mindfully aware of the occurring, to know the occurrence ...
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Gil Fronsdal Guided Anapanasati Meditations

Guided Anapanasati: Relaxing the Mental Formation

Gil Fronsdal leads an Anapanasati Relaxing the Mental Formation. Allowing the peripheral awareness, become aware of what's happening in the ...
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Dharmette by Gil Fronsdal

Dharmette: Windless Days

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Dharmette: Windless Days. Walking in a windy day it's almost second nature to be ...
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Self compassion

Self-Compassion

Tara Brach talks about the topic Self-Compassion. In these difficult times, we're often cruel on ourselves. It's necessary to have ...
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Lesson from Nature

The Way of Heartfulness [Audio]

The Way of Heartfulness, by Sharda Rogell:Let’s begin the ___ receiving. First, I want to congratulate you for getting through ...
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mindfulness of judging your romantic relationships

Mindfulness of Judging your Romantic Relationships

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Judging Relationships, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, ...
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noticing your patterns of communication

Noticing Your Patterns of Communication

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Communication Patterns, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, ...
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Meditations 6 by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Meditations 6

Meditations 6. The Buddha's own search was a search for true happiness, a happiness that doesn't age, grow ill, or ...
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Self-Love Meditation

Self-Love Meditation

Self-Love Meditation. A powerful practice that can ease a racing mind. By drawing our attention to our innermost self, we ...
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8 Meditation Scripts for Stress

8 Meditation Scripts for Stress

8 Mindfulness Exercises for Love and Compassion. Where we come into greater resonance with this powerful force of love that ...
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Attitude of Acceptance

Attitude of Acceptance

In order to develop an attitude of acceptance, you must think about your pain or physical limitations and describe to ...
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Story of Fear by Prince EA

Story of Fear [Video]

Prince EA bares the truth on fear by sharing a personal story about it as well as revealing what he ...
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tracking your insights

Tracking Your Insights

Do you know, how mindfulness exercises help you to track your insights? Explore the best mindfulness practices to learn more ...
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Law Of Attraction Spoken Affirmations for Happiness & Living In The Moment

Affirmations for Happiness & Living In The Moment

These spoken affirmations for happiness over time can change your life! These affirmations can be heard aloud. Remember to put ...
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Starting the Day with Gratitude – Meditation

Starting the Day with Gratitude – Meditation

Before your mind wakes up completely every morning, create a blank canvas. Clear your mind starting the day with a ...
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How Do We Break The Habit Of Excessive Thinking Eckhart Tolle

How Do We Stop Excessive Thinking?

Eckhart Tolle explores the powerful addiction to thinking, offering a handful of ways to put a stop to thoughts and ...
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Indian Flute Music for Yoga Bansuri music

Indian Flute Yoga: Calming Music

Indian Flute Yoga: Calming Music is an ideal accompaniment to your daily meditation practice. Use this music to relax and ...
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Purpose Motivational Video

Purpose – Motivational Video

We all have a purpose inside us. This motivational video will help you find yours and be the very best ...
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MoMy Life As A Monk

My Life As A Monk

Ajahn shares about his life as a monk. His first contact with meditation in the Buddhist practice, and how that ...
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For Sleep and Depression

For Sleep & Depression

Having difficulty getting to sleep or are you depressed? This hour-long meditation video for sleep & depression might just be ...
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educating others effectively

Educating Others Effectively

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Educating Others, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, ...
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Minfulness meditation for beginners

Meditation For Beginners Who Have Trouble Sitting Still

Meditation techniques for beginners can help by addressing common difficulties like having trouble sitting still. Your body needs to be ...
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what is most nurturing and stressful for you

What is Most Nurturing and Stressful for You

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Knowing What is Nurturing & Stressful, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose ...
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It’s Up To You

It’s Up To You

Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around. Take control of your mind, take charge of your ...
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Erin-Treat

Training The Heart to Awaken [Audio]

Training The Heart to Awaken, by Erin Treat:About Erin Treat:Erin lives in Durango, Colorado and is a member of the ...
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karma and intention

Boredom

Shaila Catherine talks about boredom as a hindrance to meditation. A hindering force that prevents us from being aware and ...
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Why and How to Say Sorry [Video]

Why and How to Say Sorry [Video]

Whether it's work or a personal relationship, apologizing doesn't always come easily. Learn why and how to say sorry the ...
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Calm, Contentment, Happiness, and Mindfulness

With depression on the rise across all age groups, and stress now being a more than common occurrence in many people’s lives, it is safe to say that something about the way we are living is bringing us down. Due to reasons ranging from social media usage and technology at our fingertips to weaker community ties and excessive materialism, the reasons that many of us are feeling increasingly stressed and depressed are intricate and heavily intertwined.

While the standard of living has advanced greatly for the Western world, our mental wellbeing is suffering. All of this might it a contributing factor to why more and more people are turning towards mindfulness as a way to alleviate some of the burden of modern day society – and for good reason. Mindfulness practice is a powerful tool to help manage the underlying suffering we are experiencing, promoting a greater sense of inner calm, contentment, and happiness.   

Buddhist Roots of Mindfulness and Happiness

One of Buddhism’s core teachings is that of contentment, a state of being that can be achieved through bringing compassionate, non-judgmental awareness to the inner workings of the mind. Mindfulness practice and meditation as a way of reaching contentment has been practiced for centuries.

To better understand how Buddhists use mindfulness to achieve contentment, we can first familiarize ourselves with a basic understanding of the term “dukkha.” While commonly translated as “suffering,” there are other ways we might define the term. Dukkha can be considered to be:

  • Physical and mental suffering that comes with birth, growth, illness, and death
  • The emotional aspect of humanity, comprising of sorrow, grief, and misery
  • Anxiety or stress caused by attachment to things that are constantly changing
  • Lack of satisfaction or the sense of things not meeting our expectations

To better understand how mindfulness helps to increase our experience of peace and contentment, we can separate these two experiences into separate categories, the first being a sense of peace and inner calm.

Calm defined is a state of being that is “free from agitation, excitement, or disturbance.” Perhaps more metaphorically put, and as it relates to the weather, calm can be defined as “a period or condition of freedom from storms, high winds, or rough activity of water.” When we feel calm, the waves of life have little effect on us. In these moments, we are more like the rocky bed beneath the sea.

Numerous studies have shown that mindfulness does indeed reduce anxiety and promote a calm state of being. Some of the findings are listed below, though this is not an exhaustive list of the research that has been done:

There are a few different mechanisms by which all of this occurs. From our neural pathways to our hormones, a couple of explanations for mindfulness’ ability to reduce stress and anxiety and increase our experience of calmness can be noted:

Activation of various regions in the brain

Mindfulness meditation activates the anterior cingulate cortex, an area of the brain that controls our thinking and emotion. It also engages the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the anterior insula, two additional areas of the brain involved with controlling worry.

Activation of the relaxation response

Mindfulness of the breath often leads us to deepening its flow. When we are stressed, we tend to breathe only shallowly, a way of breathing that initiates the fight-or-flight response. As we observe the breath and as it deepens, the body’s relaxation response is activated. This engagement of the parasympathetic nervous system brings our blood pressure, heart rate, and hormone levels back to balance. The experience of stress in mind and body is eased.

How Mindfulness Promotes Happiness

Contentment and happiness often go hand in hand, though they are not quite the same. Contentment as it relates to mindfulness can be defined as a sense of satisfaction for the present state of reality. Happiness is more commonly associated with pleasant feelings and is often desired. While the difference may come down to semantics, we might consider that contentment is the simplest or purest form of satisfaction. When contentment is the goal, happiness often follows.

Mindfulness promotes our experience of happiness through our increased satisfaction, or contentment, with the present moment. Whatever situation we find ourselves in, mindful awareness of our direct experience can help to naturally lessen our propensity to hold expectations and increase our acceptance of whatever is occurring.

Contentment and happiness increase through mindfulness practice in a variety of different ways, including the following:

Becoming aware of our thought patterns helps us to release negative thought patterns.

As we practice being more mindful in everyday situations and through exploring mindfulness meditation, we start to notice where our thoughts loop around in a continuous circle. By observing this cycle we take away some of the steam that fuels it, finding ourselves more deeply connected to the present moment. Fears of the future or regrets from the past (or other negative thoughts that attach us to some different place in time) naturally begin to melt away.

Mindfulness practice increases our gratitude for whatever exists in the present moment.

As our attachment to negative thoughts is observed and released, we become more aware of the present moment and more grateful for what we have at present. As we reconnect to our inner state of being, we come to realize that in each moment, we are perfectly whole as we are. This helps to fuel our sense of contentment with the present state of reality.

It is often said that energy flows where attention goes. As we become more mindful of all the positive things in our everyday lives, we fuel and attract more of those blessings that naturally promote peace and happiness.

Becoming more aware of our emotional states helps us to better manage them, soothing turbulent waves that may arise.

Mindfulness practice helps us to regulate our emotions by reducing the tendency to be swept away by them. As we start to identify rising emotions as the observer, noting inner experiences such as grief, sadness, and anger, the power they hold over our thoughts and behaviors is lessened. We become better at watching the way these energy currents flow through us rather than holding onto their stories.

Mindfulness Practices to Increase Happiness

Mindfulness can be implemented into our lives in numerous ways. The most common form is through mindfulness meditation, but the applications of this practice are much wider than that. We can practice harnessing mindful awareness in all situations, from brushing our teeth to overcoming a personal struggle to taking the dog for a walk. There are also a variety of mindfulness exercises and worksheets that can deepen our personal practice.

To promote contentment, happiness, and an inner state of calm, the following tools and techniques can be practiced.

Communicate with compassion

Practicing mindfulness is most challenging when our defenses are triggered, such as when we feel a strong negative reaction to something someone has done or said or when we are in the middle of an argument. We can strengthen our ability to remain calm and compassionate in these situations by becoming mindful of what is running through us rather than what is “wrong” with the person or situation in front of us.


To enhance your ability to communicate mindfully and compassionately:

  • Take a moment of pause at any point in a conversation or situation when defenses are running high. Reconnect with your heart space before you continue engaging and before taking any actions.
  • Focus on sharing your direct experience, noting what emotions and bodily sensations are present alongside your rising defenses.
  • Listen openheartedly. This does not mean opening to or welcoming abuse; however, in most cases we can improve upon how well we truly listen to the experience of another. Compassionately request the same mindful listening in return.

Witness emotional waves as an observer

When strong emotions or feelings of unease arise, practice watching them as if you were an outsider. It is easy to become attached to our emotions and their associated stories, but instead we can try mindfully noting them as being energy bodies that are separate from the core of who we are.

To practice separating ourselves from the waves of emotion:

  • Come to a comfortable seated position and take a few deep breaths to ground yourself. Allow your body to relax as you start to tune into the emotions that are present.
  • Practice witnessing and noting them as raw emotion, perhaps assigning them labels such as “anger,” “grief,” “confusion,” or “sorrow.” You might also note bodily sensations that are present such as “tingling,” “tightness,” or “unease.”
  • Make these observations without attaching a sense of “I” to them. Witness them and then release them, returning to your breath to help you find balance.

Gratitude practice

We can increase our contentment by mindfully noting all of the things we are grateful for in the present moment. Practice this with eyes closed or while observing your surroundings. Make note of things big and small, tangible and intangible. Consider:

  • Your morning tea
  • The sunshine (or the rain)
  • Your breath and body
  • Refrigeration and heating
  • The roof over your head
  • Companionship
  • Generosity
  • Kindness

The opportunities for feeling into our blessings are endless. When you first begin this practice, you might like to make a written list of all the things you are grateful for. Add to it throughout the day, allowing this practice to grow effortlessly as you move through life.

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