Practicing Mindfulness: Tips for Parents and Children
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is all about living in the present moment and not worrying about the past or what the future holds. It is a technique that involves setting aside a few minutes or moments in your day to focus on your breathing. When various thoughts or ideas come into your mind you should acknowledge them but let them pass by without judgement.
Here are some simple benefits of mindfulness and quick tips to help you practice.
Benefits of mindfulness:
Mindfulness is nothing new and is not rocket science, in fact we all have the ability to practice mindfulness anywhere and anytime.
Some of the benefits include:
- Relieves stress & mild anxiety
- Helps with focus and mental clarity
- Aids healthy mood
- Calms a racing mind and aids sleep
- Helps you set aside time in a busy day to stop and reflect
Being mindful helps puts time and space between ourselves and our reactions. It helps put things in perspective so that we can enjoy those little moments as they happen in real time. It could be as simple as savouring the moment of drinking a hot beverage and acknowledging how this makes you feel.
Tips to practice mindfulness
- Focus on how you are feeling: is your heart rate fast or slow? How is your breathing? Do you feel safe?
- Focus on the environment: Do you feel warm or cold? Are you surrounded by soft or hard textures? Are you physically touching the earth? what sounds can you hear? Is there air moving around you?
- Acknowledge thoughts without judgement: when thoughts come into your mind, recognise them but let them pass by and bring your thinking back to the present moment. You may like to repeat or focus on a particular word or phrase to keep your focus.
- Try other calming activities like meditation, yoga and gentle walks.
Mindfulness for children
We all know that our kids live very busy lives and have short attention spans. Sometimes the weeks or months can go by so quickly without stopping for a moment to think about how you are feeling. Parents are introducing their kids to the idea of stopping for a few moments each day.
There are many benefits for kids practicing mindfulness including:
- Reduced restlessness, nervous tension and mild anxiety
- Greater focus and healthy learning
- Calm behavior
- Self-control & sharing
As with anything in life, mindfulness takes practice. A good time to practice is early in the morning or before bed. Try being consistent and practicing it each day for a week. Reflect on how it makes you feel.
- Yoga for Bedtime
- Back to School Health Tips
- The calming power of Ashwagandha—an ancient herb for the modern world