5 Tips To Introduce Mindfulness To Children

Mindfulness, in simple terms, is being fully present at the moment. It helps to engage in the current activity and doesn’t let your mind wander into other thoughts. It is easier said than done. Most of us tend to think about past events or the future. These influence our perceptions and decisions. With various thoughts in the background, we often fail to notice things in the present and react without processing them. Thus, being mindful aids in focussing your attention and responding without bias.

Mindfulness is part of corporate training programs and is also essential for sportspersons. Recently, studies and research have accepted its suitability for children. It lets them pursue any activity without getting distracted and increases concentration. But explaining mindfulness to small children can be difficult. We can use the mindful jar analogy and say that a restless mind is similar to a glitter-filled jar. The sparkle particles in the jar need to settle down to see things.

Similarly, only a calm mind can focus and understand better. You can use the glitter jar as a calming and focusing tool. Below we give a few tips to introduce mindfulness to small children.

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1. Teach Appreciation:

It is essential to develop the habit of thankfulness. You can play the game ‘Three good things’ where the children need to tell the three incidents/objects that make them happy and satisfied. It can be a routine activity, say during bedtime or dinner. It will help children appreciate the present and feel motivated. Feeling grateful can help them overcome stress. They rank better in student motivation assessments and become passionate learners.

For example, as a parent or caregivers, we know that children of all ages get disappointed and irritated. In such situations, the first thing to do is to acknowledge their feelings and try to say that there are so many good things around them. As a result, children do not brood over a single bad experience and move on to other activities.

2. Mindful Breathing:

One of the simple ways to calm the mind and be more aware is to observe breathing. You can ask the child to lie down and let them feel the belly moving in and out as they breathe. For little ones, you can place lightweight toys like teddies on the stomach and ask to watch the toy going up and down. Another hack is to let children visualize their favorite image while breathing in and ask them to feel calm while breathing out. They can even imagine cooling down things like a pizza during exhalation. It increases their creativity and also helps in stress reduction.

Older children can count their breaths and feel their lungs and stomach while breathing. You can also introduce the practice of taking deep breaths when children feel frustrated, annoyed, or enraged. The objective here is to make children aware of their body functions. They need to understand and feel the stress internal organs undergo with a restless mind.

5 Tips To Introduce Mindfulness To Children

3. Mindful Poses:

The way we hold our bodies can impact our feelings and appearance. For example, holding your chin up and back straight can radiate confidence and boldness. You can teach this body-mind connection to young kids. Superman and Wonder Woman poses are popular among children. They need to stand up tall, stretch their body, and feel the strength in the strength in their legs. You can also include activities like focusing on smell and sound. The kids can relate these activities with superheroes who are the first to notice anomalies and clues around.

4. Recognizing tastes and aromas:

Our sense organs are tools to learn about the world. They do their job even when we are not attentive. But taking a pause and engaging in involuntary activities like smelling and tasting can draw us to the present and not let our minds wander. Children can practice describing the taste and smell associated with their favorite candies, flowers, rain, etc. You can also go for a blindfolded taste test where they identify the savories and sweets based on their taste alone. Though it seems fun, these activities lead to mindful eating and make the children more health conscious.

5 Tips To Introduce Mindfulness To Children

5. Drawing and journaling:

Do you ask your child about their day at school? Do they describe it with enthusiasm or appear uninterested and forgetful? Their answer indicates their ability to enjoy the present and become mindful. They can enhance their engagement by drawing an everyday object they came across or used at school. You can ask them to add details like color, number, etc. It increases their attention span and memory. Older children can jot down their entire day’s activities.

In the long run, recording things can let you recognize uneasy tasks and incidents that impact you. You understand how and why you are in the current situation and have a positive attitude towards life.

5 Tips To Introduce Mindfulness To Children

In Conclusion:

Incidents in our lives can make us excited, nostalgic, or depressed. We need complete attention to overcome the challenges and march on. But keeping our minds preoccupied with panics or jubilance impacts our behavior and performance. Here is where the art of mindfulness helps. It lets you be unbiased in the present. And one can adopt the habit of mindfulness at a young age. Children learn to become observant and recognize emotions through easy and routine mindful practices.

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