Exploring Mindfulness with Your Child

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Mindfulness is all about giving your full attention to what is happening in a particular moment, like what you’re thinking and feeling, or what’s going on in your surroundings. It’s a technique used to tackle anxiety because it allows a person to bring their thoughts back to the moment rather than worrying about something that may or may not happen or dwelling on the past. It also has the potential to allow a person to feel happier and more fulfilled because they are able to enjoy each experience as it happens rather than allowing instances to flash by without a second thought. Here’s some advice from a private school in New York on how to explore mindfulness with your child.

Tune Into the Senses

Try and encourage your child to think about what they can see, hear, taste, feel, or smell at any given moment. For instance, if you’re out for a walk, you could talk about the sound of the gravel beneath your feet or the breeze blowing through your hair. Sharing some of your own examples will encourage them to do the same. Even if you’re eating a snack, you could talk about the texture or flavour. This will encourage your child to truly think about an experience as it’s happening so their mind doesn’t wander to friendship problems or school stress.

As well as thinking about the experience in literal terms, and how it makes your child feel on the outside, ask them to think about how it makes them feel on the inside too. In other words, does the experience make them feel joyful or anxious? Are they excited or scared? If they know how certain experiences make them feel, they will learn what to repeat or avoid in the future.

Encourage Journaling

Journaling is often used as part of mindfulness interventions and is very beneficial for young people. It’s great for helping them tune in to their innermost thoughts and feelings and let them out on the page, which can reduce stress and anxiety and help improve confidence. It’s important to note that the process of journaling is what’s important, not the content itself, and your child can write about anything from a detailed entry about their day at school, or a list of things they are grateful for that day.

These are just a couple of ideas to get you started. Bear in mind that mindfulness takes time and practice, it isn’t something that your child will likely grasp straight away. However, the more they practice, the more natural it will become.

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