What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is being aware and present in the moment, paying attention to things that may not ordinarily be given attention. Imagine sitting at the park and observing everything that is happening…rather experiencing everything that is happening. Experience the sound of the wind blowing through your hair or across your body, rather than just sitting as a bystander, passively experiencing life. You are using mindfulness when you are presently aware of your breathing, thoughts, feelings, body sensations, and more.
Mindfulness has been shown to help with depression, anxiety, stress, and a host of other things. There is an aspect of acceptance that is present with mindfulness. With actively observing or experiencing things in the present there is an element of simply accepting things for what they are. This does not mean living a passive life allowing things to happen; rather, it is gaining control and acceptance of life and how we interact with the world.
Mindfulness can also be useful intervention for children, helping mitigate issues with attention, anxiety, racing thoughts, disruptive behaviors, and more. You can begin teaching mindfulness to your child by teaching your child how to take deep breaths.
5 Ways To Begin Teaching Your Child Mindfulness
- Before you give your child an instruction, take a deep breath, and make sure they can see you
- Before serving your child their food, invite them to take a deep breath and you take one as well, then serve their food.
- Give your child a hug and take a deep breath while hugging them and then hold them for a few seconds afterwards.
- Engage your child in a game or activity that it fun for them and take a deep breath before beginning the activity and also throughout the activity.
- Before your child goes to sleep at night engage them in a brief activity (prayers, story, soothing song, etc.) and take a deep breath before beginning the activity and then after the activity is completed.