- What is mindfulness?
- Why use it?
- How to explain it to Kids.
Step 1: Mindfulness works to intentionally increase your awareness (open mind), without judgment of what is happening, in the present moment. Allowing things to be exactly as they are and letting go.
Step 2: Why it helps: (1) Increases self-awareness and self-soothing during emotionally intense moments (2) Increases your ability to identify old ways of coping that no longer work and intentionally do something different (3) Increases self-compassion, which decreases feelings of shame, guilt, and self-criticism SOOOO…
These practices can lead to Cognitive Benefits (cortical thickness- IQ, increased grey matter-process info in brain, improved attention, cognitive flexibility, decision making), Emotional Benefits (changes to the amygdala – related to how we process emotional memory, reduced depression or anxiety, increased cingulate cortex functioning– regulation of overall affect) and Physical Benefits (improved immune function, relieves chronic inflammation-aging and diseases, improved sleep, pain reduction, healthier glucose levels). BREATHE…
Step 3: How to Introduce mindfulness to your kids- SHOW THEM! Breathe with them, tell them how you are choosing to respond differently to common situations, and ask them how they can implement it themselves (e.g., closing eyes to listen to their heartbeat or noises around them to calm down, running their hands under water to calm down and count their breath).
Check out this video to do a guided mindfulness practice and learn more about strengthening your mind!