You may have heard of mindfulness, but do you know what’s actually involved? It’s basically all about concentrating on the current moment, from what’s happening around us to what’s going on in our heads. Lots of people use methods of mindfulness to help ease anxiety and, in many ways, feel more accomplished and happy. As a parent, there are lots of things you can do to help your child become more mindful and enjoy each moment of their life as much as possible, as explored below by a primary school in Hillingdon.
Practising mindfulness is actually quite easy. The idea is really just about paying attention to what’s happening around you as much as possible, instead of getting lost in irrational thoughts or letting wonderful moments slip by unnoticed. It can be practised when eating a tasty treat or hugging a loved one. Encourage your child to share with you or even just think in their head how they feel about a situation; what can they hear, see, smell, taste or touch? What emotions does the experience prompt? Do they feel sad, amused, content? However, you can’t force someone to be mindful so if your child doesn’t seem to be grasping the idea, try again at a later date.
Next time you and your child take a walk somewhere, share your thoughts on the experience. Can you feel the wind on your face or hear birds tweeting in the background? In doing so, you will encourage your child to do the same. Ask them if they are enjoying the experience and why/why not. Essentially, the idea is to help them find a way to recognise their physical and emotional responses to situations.
The same applies for negative experiences, like if they have a spelling test coming up at school and they are feeling nervous. Ask them if their nerves are accompanied by a physical response, like sweaty palms, nausea or loss of appetite. In helping your child recognise what is happening in a certain moment, they will start to learn what experiences to repeat or avoid in the future.