Mindfulness practices for the digital age
Did you see Goldie Hawn on the "Today Show" last week? Her program called MindUp uses mindfulness practices in the classroom and beyond to teach kids (and the adults around them) tools for self-regulation and grounding that can improve lives and outcomes. We believe in these practices and have created Mindful Bites to address these needs in short, teachable lessons that can be used by parents, teachers, and caregivers. Teaching children mindfulness techniques at an early age can set them up to be more resilient, use more of their brain, and be less reactive in challenging situations.
How should I start practicing mindfulness with my kids?
Practice short lessons throughout the day. Mindfulness doesn't need to be a 30 minute sitting meditation morning, noon, and night. Choosing to stop, breathe, ground, and feel for a moment or two throughout the day can be as beneficial as long sitting meditations, especially for children.
Make a point to practice at the same times or during the same situations. Upon getting up in the morning, practice 5-10 breaths of mindful breathing. Just noticing the breath trying to keep the focus on the breathing. Before a meal, check in with all five of your senses in regards to the space you are in and the food you are eating. When leaving the house or getting out of the car stop, take a breath, and feel your feet on the ground. Before bed, make a list of 3 things you are grateful for and either write them down or speak them aloud. Modeling these practices and asking our kids to do the same can make profound changes.
Learn one technique at a time. Start slowly. Learn one kind of practice and do that over and over again over a week or two. One practice, once per day, over and over. After a week or two, learn another practice and add it to your day. You have all the time there is to learn these practices!
Use a mindfulness deck if you need inspiration. You can find lots of products online and at the bookstore to help you learn mindfulness techniques and teach them to your kids. You can also purchase a downloadable Mindful Bites deck from us on our shop page, here. The cards are organized so that you begin with mindful body, move to mindful breath, and each progressive card is a more challenging practice.
Practice yourself. There are many apps (we love Insight Timer) and even YouTube channels such as Mindfully Educated for kids and The Mindful Movement and the Be Here Now Network to help you find teachers and practices for yourself.
The most important thing to know about mindfulness is that as long as you are trying to stay in the present, you are doing it "right". All you have to do is try.
Want to watch the interview on Today with Goldie Hawn? Click here.
Yours in breath,