Originating from Buddhist meditation, mindfulness is a practice the West are embracing with open arms.
Numerous studies speak on the benefits to our mental and emotional health, helping us to slow down, ease anxiety and lower stress.
According to Therapy Directory member and holistic healer Hilda Kalap, mindfulness can help children calm down when upset, improve their ability to pay attention, help them regulate emotions and helps with better decision making.
Here are Hilda’s pointers for introducing mindfulness to your children:
1) Keep it simple – A good way to describe mindfulness, particularly for younger children – under seven – is noticing our thoughts, what our body feels like, what our ears are hearing and anything else around us that is happening right now.
2) Listen to a bell – Children can practise mindfulness by focusing on what they hear. Perhaps use a singing bowl, some chimes or another instrument. Tell your children that you will make the sound and they should listen to it attentively until they can no longer hear it. This tends to have a calming effect and also helps teach children to pay attention to what is happening around them.
3) Start a mindful walk – Stroll through the neighbourhood with your child and notice things you haven’t seen before. You could walk in silence for a minute and just pay attention to all the sounds you both hear – the birds, crickets, cars, motorcycles, voices and so on. This is mindfulness but you wouldn’t even realise it and it’s really fun to do.