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Mindfulness Exercises For Calm, Contentment & Happiness

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

Meditation For Gratitude

Guided Meditation For Gratitude

This is a 10 minute guided meditation that is meant to help you start your day in a calm and ...
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Mindfulness and Concentration

Lack of Continuity of Mindfulness and Concentration

Kate Munding reminds the importance of stillness in the practice of mindfulness and improves concentration especially in the world where ...
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Collection Of Mindfulness Quotes

A Collection of Mindfulness Quotes

A collection of 63 mindfulness quotes from Ajahn Brahm’s teachings, put under three headings: Sīla (virtue), Samādhi (meditation), and Pañña ...
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Letting Go vs. Attainment

Letting Go vs. Attainment

Ajahn Sumedho talks about Letting Go vs. Attainment. You don't ever attain anything in meditation if you're meditating in the ...
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Ajahn Chah Its Like This

Ajahn Chah: It’s Like This

A free mindfulness ebook of Ajahn Chah, discussing the realness of genuine mindfulness practice as a way of achieving peace ...
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Having A Sky Like Mind

Having A Sky-Like Mind

Tara Brach leads a guided meditation Having a Sky-like Mind. Sounds disappear and appear in the open space of awareness ...
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Body Scan Intermediate

Body Scan, Intermediate

Body Scan Intermediate is a great practice for releasing stress. It guides readers and listeners through this type of mindfulness ...
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The GLAD Technique

The G.L.A.D. Technique

G.L.A.D. (G stands for gratitude) is an approach to finding joy and balance. This mindfulness exercise will guide you on ...
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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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The Importance of Mindfulness of Race

The Importance of Mindfulness of Race

In a world of cultural diversity, the importance of mindfulness of race is relevant. See resources that may be helpful ...
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6 Mindful Breathing Exercises

6 Mindful Breathing Exercises

Here are 6 mindful breathing exercises to help you reduce stress, improve sleep, uplift mood and boost brain performance. Pretty ...
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Establishing Safety

Establishing Safety

This practice promotes a sense of safety that allows our mental resources to stop fending off outer threats & instead ...
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practicing the art of resolving conflicts

Practicing the Art of Resolving Conflicts

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Resolving Conflicts, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, ...
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free mindfulness exercises

Mindfulness For Beginners

First off, congratulations on your decision to enhance your personal growth through mindfulness! This is something you are doing for ...
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Mindfulness: The Path to the Deathless

Mindfulness: The Path to the Deathless

Mindfulness is the path to the deathless, heedlessness is the path to death. The mindful do not die, but the ...
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Twenty Minute Meditation

Twenty Minute Meditation – With Just Bells

Available for download, audible media of 20-minute meditation with just bells. Good for 20-minute meditations for invoking sleep ...
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Basic Body Scan

Basic Body Scan

Tara Brach walks us through a basic body scan meditation. Feeling tense, anxious, or upset? A basic body scan is ...
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Awakening the Heart ~ by Thich Nhat Hanh [Video]

Awakening the Heart ~ by Thich Nhat Hanh [Video]

Published on Oct 11, 2013What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake to the present moment ...
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Mindfulness in Business Panel

Mindfulness in Business Panel

4 experts of different fields in the business industry talk about bringing mindfulness into business & how it can help ...
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Two Ways of Doing Anything

Two Ways of Doing Anything (Or, How to Savor the Journey)

Have you ever thought that there could be two ways of doing anything? One is when you're feeling burdened or ...
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mindfulness meditations online

Unentangled Knowing

Guy Armstrong says "unentangled" means preventing the tangling from happening. So unentangled knowing is the kind that prevents tangling from ...
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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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stepping up your support of others

Stepping up Your Support of Others

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Support of Others, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your ...
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Mindfulness for holiday stress

The Dharma of True Friendship

Kate Munding shares a story about how the Buddha advised on friendship; also shared her own story about the friendships ...
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When You Lose Your Breath [Video]

When You Lose Your Breath [Video]

Conscious breathing can really bring relaxation to anyone with underlying problems with emotional intelligence. Learn more about it here ...
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Ajahn Sumedho Volume 1 – Peace is a Simple Step

Ajahn Sumedho Volume 1 – Peace is a Simple Step

Read about this "Peace is a Simple Step", the first book of Ven. Ajahn Sumedho's series of written teachings focused ...
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How to Defeat Failure in 60 Seconds

How to Defeat Failure in 60 Seconds

Failure, we all have experienced it!Instance 150Guided AudioMeditations Effective for reducing stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia.$48 Download them to your ...
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Sharing Gratitude

Sharing Gratitude

As the saying goes: “the best attitude is gratitude.” Learning to express gratitude in your life can lead to greater ...
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Morning reflection

Morning Reflection

Joseph Goldstein leads a Morning Reflection about Mindfulness. To stay mindful internally and externally rather than being reactive and judgmental ...
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Guided Meditation for Anxiety and Stress

Guided Meditation For Anxiety and Stress

This Guided Meditation for anxiety and detachment from over-thinking will help you be relaxed and concentrated through the day ...
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Key To Organizational Success

Key To Organizational Success

The key to organizational success is an effective culture. An effective culture is strategic, integrative, cohesive, innovative, and adaptive ...
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Flowering of Compassion

You Are Not Your Fault

Wes Nisker talks about the topic You Are Not Your Fault. Wes explains that our existence is no accident, that ...
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Stories That People Will Say About Us

Stories That People Will Say About Us

Sylvia Boorstein tells a story that leads to Siddharta, it deals with the spiritual journey of self-discovery. We all have ...
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Investigating the Phenomenological Matrix of Mindfulness-Related Practices From a Neurocognitive Perspective

Investigating Mindfulness Practices

Research: Investigating the Phenomenological Matrix of Mindfulness-Related Practices From a Neurocognitive Perspective. Download this FREE PDF! ...
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Guided Meditation On Forgiveness

Guided Meditation on Forgiveness [Audio]

Forgiving doesn’t mean we don’t take care. It’s a movement of our own heart to re-open to life. That we ...
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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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Mindfulness meditation - knowing and not knowing

Knowing and Not Knowing

Matthew Brensilver talks about Knowing and Not Knowing. Mindfulness is very much about knowing things as they are. At the ...
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How LinkedIn Develops Wisdom with Compassion, Fred Kofman

How LinkedIn Develops Wisdom with Compassion, Fred Kofman

Great talk by Fred Kofman, LinkedIn's VP, on how the company is able to develop not just one's thinking capabilities ...
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Mindfulness exercise

Self-Compassion Practice

Rick Hanson talks about Self-compassion Practice. It is easy to feel compassion towards others than to yourself simply because we ...
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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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Concentration

Concentration

Mindfulness meditation techniques & mindfulness exercises on concentration brings awareness, peace of mind in your day to day work and ...
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Spring Washam

All About Love [Audio]

All About Love by Spring Washam:..and especially meta practice. In this idea of friendliness, they’re always cultivating. You know, sometimes because ...
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New Silent Meditations With Bell Sounds

New Silent Meditations With Bell Sounds

If meditating with a teacher is not your thing, you can download our free audios of silent meditation with bell ...
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When You Feel Lonely

When You Feel Lonely

What happens when you feel apart and disconnected from others? When you feel alone, what do you do?1. Get interested ...
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Lesson from Nature

Menstrual Cramp Relief (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Menstrual Cramp Relief. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are ...
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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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