Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment on purpose and non judgementally. It is a practical and effective self-care tool, which comes with many benefits for both adults and children. When practiced regularly, it helps children notice the positives and develop a sense of appreciation, gratitude and contentment. It helps children connect with themselves, increasing confidence, self-awareness and well-being. It can be practiced anywhere, and like a muscle being trained, once you learn it well, it becomes a tool for life!
In recent years it has been accepted as a useful therapy for anxiety and depression and is being explored in schools and sports teams to enhance performance and mindset. Schools are introducing programs like “MindUp” & “MiSP” (Mindfulness in schools project” which is wonderful and so badly needed.
Here are some simple ways to practice mindfulness with your family:
- Notice and name body sensations, thoughts and emotions, the more insight our kids have into their inner experience, the more they are able to choose appropriate responses
- Lazy 8 Breathing. Google lazy 8 breathing, follow your finger around the number 8, breathe in, hold and breathe out, practice this with 10 breaths and see how you feel, remember breathe in through your nose, breathe out through your mouth, slowly!
- Move, stretch and notice body sensations, teach your children to observe and appreciate all that our bodies are capable of doing for us.
- Take a mindful nature walk. Bring your sense of curiosity and adventure and allow your child to lead the way.
- Practice Bally breathing
- Let them be, create an open space for free time to just let them be outside.