The Mood & Mind Centre
|Posted on 1 June, 2021 at 22:40|
Written by Jessica Parker (May 2021)
Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgment. Mindfulness is now being examined scientifically and has been found to be a key element in stress reduction and overall happiness. Mindfulness has so many benefits to both physical and mental health, one researcher went as far as to say that he believes the practise of daily mindfulness will be seen as important for one’s health as diet and exercise.
Children and adults of all ages can benefit from mindfulness; however, children are uniquely suited to benefit from mindfulness practice. Habits formed early in life will inform behaviours in adulthood, and with mindfulness, we have the opportunity to give our children the habit of being peaceful, kind and accepting.
There are many ways to incorporate Mindfulness practise into our lives that the whole family can enjoy together. My favourite is Mindfulness eating. This involves using all our 5 senses to be completely present while eating. When doing this with younger children I like to get them to pretend that we are aliens from outer space who have never encountered this food before. Let’s imagine we do this exercise with an orange. We could notice the texture and shape of the orange, hold it up to the light and see if we can see through the segments. We could smell it, we can smell our hands and notice the zesty fragrance has transferred to our fingers. We could take a bite and hold a piece in our mouth and notice the texture and flavour and notice how our tongue automatically moves the orange around and how our mouth starts to water. As we swallow, we can notice the feeling in our body. With this attitude of curiosity and non-judgement, we can turn endless activities into mindfulness practise.
I challenge you to think about what other everyday activities that you could turn into mindfulness moments for your family to be present with. Have fun!