Mindfulness is the process of being aware of one's current surroundings as well as the ability to reflect on life experiences in the present. There are several ways to practice mindfulness, and Tutor Doctor has 10 great activities you can try with your kids.
1) Focus on your breathing. This allows you to concentrate on your inner thoughts, and also relaxes you by slowing down your heart rate. This calm state of mind is an excellent time to reflect on one's thoughts and feelings.
2) Practice gratitude. Make a mental list of people, places, and things you are grateful for. This encourages a positive attitude, as this exercise helps to remind us of who and what we should be thankful for.
3) Call a family member or friend. If you have a relative or long-distance friend you haven't spoken to in a while, give them a call. Mindfulness is all about being aware of the present, and it's important to remind yourself of the people you care about.
4) Meditate. This is one of the best activities to do with your kids. Meditation is a common approach towards mindfulness, and can help one to achieve a state of refreshing calmness and clarity. Meditation is a healthy way of mental self-reflection that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
5) Use audio to relax. Listening to calming music is a great way to achieve a state of inner relaxation. We recommend something unobtrusive, like soft classical music or nature sounds.
6) Spend time in nature. Whether it's a hike or a quick trip to the park, spending time in nature is always a healthy approach towards mindfulness. Sometimes it's good to “unplug” and reflect on the beauty that is all around us. Forming a bond with nature embodies a core goal of mindfulness, which is to feel connected with one's surroundings and life experiences.
7) Practice yoga. If you're a person that enjoys doing yoga, have your kids join you! Yoga is not only a healthy exercise, but also encourages mindfulness and relaxation using proven postures and techniques.
8) Write down your thoughts. Keeping a journal helps immensely with self-reflection. In addition, jotting down whatever comes to mind – sometimes called a “stream of consciousness” – is another great technique to focus on self-awareness of one's current state.
9) Have a moment of silence. Whether this involves reflecting on those we have lost, our current state of mind, or traditional prayer is ultimately up to the individual. Regardless, a moment of silence helps to reduce distractions and focus on deeper thinking.
10) Create art. Have your kids put their emotions into images using crayons, colored pencils, or paints. Not only does this encourage self-expression, but it also teaches your kids to embrace their thoughts and feelings.
When people feel more connected and self-aware of their current situations, it allows them to approach life with a more positive mindset. Introducing mindfulness to your kids at a young age is a fantastic idea, as it helps encourage their own journey of being aware in the present – whether that's through emotional expression, physical activities, or mental reflection on important life experiences is ultimately up to the individual.
Check out this Child Mindfulness Guide from Invo-Progressus: