Mindfulness Exercises For Calm, Contentment & Happiness

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

Mindfulness Exercise on Lessons From Nature

Mindfulness of Depression 3/5

Rona Kabatznick leads Part 3 of the guided forgiveness meditation on Mindfulness Depression. Forgiveness of self is to open one's ...
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Are We Too Materialistic?

Are We Too Materialistic?

It’s hard to stay immune to materialism in a modern consumer society. Watch this short video on the different types ...
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Teen Meditation To Believe In Yourself

Teen Meditation To Believe In Yourself

Teen Meditation to Believe in Yourself. Ideal for kids aged 13 - 19 this meditation script delves into mature topics ...
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The Floodlights Of Awareness

The Floodlights Of Awareness

Ajahn Sumedho talks about The Floodlights of Awareness that can help you become aware and secure as you navigate through ...
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shaping my day to day life

Shaping My Day-to-Day Life

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Shaping Daily Life, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your ...
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Growth and Optimism

Growth and Optimism

Mindfulness research and exploration is a rapidly expanding field, which Jon Kabat-Zinn says is a tremendously optimistic sign ...
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Guided Metta Meditation

Guided Metta Meditation

Joseph Goldstein leads a guided Metta meditation. Metta is loving-kindness, is a general feeling of friendliness or goodwill towards others ...
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Joanna Macy

Coming Back to Life [Audio]

Coming Back to Life by Joanna Macy:It’s time of Passover. It’s time of Easter. It’s time when life comes to actual ...
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4 Steps to Avoiding Overwhelm

4 Steps To Avoiding Overwhelm

Feeling overwhelmed by a lot of things going on in your daily? In this video, you will learn 4 big ...
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The Art of Alchemy: Stay Open

The Art of Alchemy: Stay Open

Qoya is based on the idea through movement, we remember. We remember our essence is wise, wild and free. Using ...
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Transforming the Judgmental Mind [Audio]

Transforming the Judgmental Mind [Audio]

Donald Rothberg talks about the nature of the judgment on the mind, what it looks like, why it’s important to ...
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looking back from

Looking Back From 95

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Looking Back from 95, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how ...
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seeing the big picture

Seeing The Big Picture

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on The Big Picture, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your ...
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Increase Loving Kindness

How To Increase Loving Kindness

Sharon Salzberg talks about Metta- the Practice of Loving Kindness. The kind of loving kindness that does not select but ...
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Awareness of Using Social Media

Awareness Of Using Social Media

Awareness Of Using Social Media. This meditation script is a wonderful consideration for teenagers and adults alike. It encourages us ...
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Bedtime Guided Meditations for Children

BEDTIME – GUIDED MEDITATIONS for Children

10 special bedtime guided meditations for children age 5 & upwards. Meditation at bedtime encourages children to release the day ...
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Devi Prayer Gentle and Peaceful Music

Devi Prayer: Gentle, Peaceful Music

Devi Prayer is a piece of gentle & peaceful music & guided meditations to help you live in the present ...
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how to set realistic expectations

How to Set Realistic Expectations

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Setting Expectations, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, chest, ...
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building self esteem

Building Self Esteem

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Self Esteem, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, ...
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Increase Optimism

Going Home

Sharon Salzberg talks about Going Home; to reach the balance in living a life of mindfulness and compassion; to aspire ...
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assessing contributions to your team

Assessing Contributions To Your Team

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Assessing Contributions to Your Team, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this ...
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Medication to Meditation: Treat Anxiety with Mindfulness Exercise

Medication to Meditation: Treat Anxiety with Mindfulness Exercise

If we practice mindfulness, we always have a place to be when we are afraid.– Thich Nhat HanhAnxiety Afflicts Nearly ...
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Integral Life Practice Ebook

Integral Life Practice

Our Integral Life Practice kit turns Integral learning into accessible, applied practices for gaining more perspective and control of your ...
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How to Inquire Productively

How To Inquire Productively

Inquiring productively based on the three aspects of "what", "why", and "so what" to make better sense of how others' ...
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How to Reverse Aging

How to Reverse Aging

A well-researched perspective on age reversal, with enzymes taking a front seat as the key factor in looking and feeling ...
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Re-awaken The Giant Within Ebook

Re-Awaken The Giant Within

A superb eBook by acclaimed success coach Tony Robbins that will help you realize your dreams and spur your drive ...
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mindfulness exercises guided meditation 19

Meditation On Renunciation

Mark Coleman leads a Meditation on Renunciation. It's a form of deprivation, like letting go of indifference to ourselves, to ...
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Awareness of Each of the Five Senses

Awareness of Each of the Five Senses

Awareness of each of the five senses is a guided meditation script that brings mindfulness to the senses. Practicing regularly ...
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How to Avoid Burnout

How to Avoid Burnout

Burnout can take a toll on us. Here are 4 big ideas to avoid burnout: get more sleep; say no; ...
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inspiring trust

Inspiring Trust

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Inspiring Trust, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, ...
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From Grumpiness to Gratitude [Audio]

From Grumpiness to Gratitude [Audio]

Mary Grace Orr talks about the transformation from Grumpiness to Gratitude by acknowledging her experience of knowing the complicated nature ...
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Steve-Armstrong

Sitting And Walking Instructions [Audio]

Further Sitting And Walking Instructions, by Steve Armstrong:About Steve Armstrong:My biding motivation for the practice of teaching is to share ...
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Mindfulness for holiday stress

Poetry, Beauty And Art

In mindfulness, attention is inclusive of appreciating poetry, beauty, and art. Jack Kornfield explains that they are all integrated into ...
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Find Your Creative Flow State

Find Your Creative Flow State

Find your creative flow state and how you can be in the zone of creativity that will allow you to ...
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Morning Yoga Workout

Morning Yoga Workout

Give your body a morning boost with this simple 15-minute yoga workout you can do anywhere. It's the perfect combination ...
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best use of your time

Best Use of Your Time

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Use of Your Time, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how ...
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Ajahn Sumedho Volume 4 – The Sound of Silence

Ajahn Sumedho Volume 4 – The Sound of Silence

Learn from "The Sound of Silence" as it explores in detail the topic of silence itself along with intuitive awareness ...
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stress eating

Stress Eating

Psychological stress caused by feelings of anxiety affects our lives in many ways that we don't see. It affects sleep ...
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What Are You Avoiding

What Are You Avoiding

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Avoidance, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, chest, ...
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Mindfulness of knowing

Mindfulness Of Knowing

Joseph Goldstein talks about Mindfulness of Knowing. To gain mindfulness of knowing,1st is becoming mindful of the breath in the ...
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Coaching How to Communicate Like a Leader

Coaching: How to Communicate Like a Leader – Part 2.8 (Video)

This video discusses issues in communication and how you can communicate like a leader. A true leader is a good ...
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How to Bring the Joy to All You Do

How to Bring the Joy to All You Do

Four proven steps that will encourage anyone to bring about and spread joy in everyday life with more meaning and ...
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Self-Compassion & Mindfulness Kristin Neff

Self Compassion & Mindfulness

In this video, Kristin Neff talks about self-compassion and mindfulness. She has developed an 8-week program to teach self-compassion skills ...
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noting the effects of feeling unappreciated

Noting the Effects of Feeling Unappreciated

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Feeling Unappreciated, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, ...
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Should We Laugh Or Should We Cry?

Should We Laugh Or Should We Cry?

Given how difficult the world can often be, should we cry – or might we still laugh? In this video ...
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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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