The modern lifestyle is a veritable petri dish for stress and anxiety. We’re either rushing between activities, or we’re immersed in a digital reality that overstimulates us just as much. In this kind of environment, it’s not only adults who can benefit from mindfulness practice. Kids, also have a lot to learn from the art of living mindfully.
Along with alleviating anxiety and stress, mindfulness helps to enhance children’s ability to focus. Not only that, but mindfulness practice is a fantastic way to cultivate empathy and emotional awareness in the younger generation. Wondering how to influence your kids to live mindfully? Keep reading to get a handle on how to impart the rules of zen.
Image Source: Pixnio
- Spend time in nature
Mindfulness and the great outdoors go hand-in-hand. One of the best ways to start your child’s mindfulness journey is to change the way you experience nature together. First of all, if you’re not already taking your kid(s) for regular walks along your city’s trails and walkways, put on your hiking boots! From there, the point is to make your time in nature truly mindful.
You can do this by alerting your children to the subtle symphonies that can be found in nature. What sounds can your kids pick out? What creatures or natural bodies might be making them? Examples include the rustle tree leaves or the subtle whisper of a river. Bring along resources such as a disposable camera, and perhaps some drawing materials so that your child can set their impressions in concrete.
- Practice mindful eating
Mindfulness encompasses so much more than just meditation. It’s all about tuning in to our sensory faculties more generally. That’s where our taste buds come in!
Teaching kids how to eat mindfully has many benefits beyond making dinnertime more relaxing. If you’re able to train your children to slow down and really think about their food as they consume it, you’ll be able to instil healthy habits in them with much more success. Approach food lessons, such eating a wide range of colourful fresh vegetables, via the framework of sensations. Urge your child to describe what they see and how they feel when eating certain fruits and vegetables. Additionally, try to steer them away from negative judgments which are based solely on taste.
Image Source: Pixabay
- Get them reading
Mindfulness means understanding our place in the universe, as well as the needs and struggles of others within it. However, it can be difficult for children to conceptualize these kinds of abstractions to start. That’s where books come in. The best children’s stories highlight the wonderful webs that connect people worldwide, and allow their readers the chance to live in other people’s shoes for a while.
- Choose a “mindfulness object”
Allow your child to choose an object that they can easily associate with mindfulness. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an old softball, a crystal, or a soft toy. The only rule is that the chosen object has to inspire mindfulness whenever it’s grasped. That way, your child has an immediate recourse back to mental equilibrium if stress rears its ugly head.
- Make mindfulness part of your lifestyle
If you don’t practice mindfulness yourself, how can you expect your kids to? The challenge of getting your kids onto the mindfulness train will be much easier if you’re already on board. Your chosen mindfulness ritual might be yoga, journaling, or debriefing about existential subjects with your friends at the end of the week. As long as you are mindful yourself, you’re providing an excellent example to your kids.
When she isn’t busy writing for various blogs and sites, freelance writer and nature-lover Harper enjoys venturing outside the metro and discovering lesser-known locations for some quick R&R. She hails from Auckland, New Zealand, a bustling but lovely city affectionately known as the “City of Sails”. Say a quick hello to Harper on her personal blog.