Mindful Meditation can help you and your family go a long way, a great practice for parents and kids alike. This article will throw some light on what the concept is all about, the benefits and some easy exercises that the whole family can do together! Read on.
Emotions are rampant in these strange times of uncertainty and it can be difficult to know how to cope with the new lifestyle. With many rules and regulations in place, these few months have had a toll on everyone, especially on kids. With their actions so restricted families are seeing increased outbursts from within. The over exertion of screen time is yet another habit which invariably is effecting their behaviour. In fact, most parents are seeing a huge change in their child’s personality due to the lack of social engagement with their peers.
That’s why it’s important to seek help to manage stress and emotions for everyone! How do we cope with the sudden changes that are happening and keep an even mindset? Mindfulness is one great way of doing this. It has been proven to increase awareness and relieve stress, and is a great tool which can be used to ease out the frustration, pain and loneliness that kids are feeling.
What is meditation or mindfulness?
There are many types of meditation and mindfulness exercises. Meditation is more of a state or an attitude, rather than an action, though it can be developed through actions, such as watching your breath, painting, chanting or sitting in silence.
Everyone meditates differently and some days are easier than others. However, practicing meditation for a few minutes a day, no matter how “skilled” you are at it, will definitely bring about better moods.
These changes include but are not limited to:
- You worry less because you are more focused on what’s happening right now; like your task, homework, eating, cleaning up etc.
- Your focus improves and repetitively doing these mindfulness exercises for five minutes in a day, or more, makes you less distracted. This can particularly help your child if she/he struggles with ADHD.
- It creates a space of comfort and refuge that you and your children can retreat to and connect over.
- Mindfulness also helps regulate & manage emotions. It will enable you and your kids to become more aware of your impulses and not react as much.
- It allows you to breath and relax in the process. Ancient yogic practices as well as modern science tell us that our breath affects our version of reality. Meditation and breathing exercises such as Pranayama and relaxation exercises brings attention to our breath and help regulate it which in turns leads to everyone living healthier lives.
- It improves sleep and gives your kids more energy during the day.
Being more “mindful” or attentive to the present moment, rather than the future or the past, is synonymous with being “meditative”. So mindfulness exercises and meditation are similar, with tiny differences that have to do with their origins. Mindful eating is a common exercise that brings focus to what we eat, how much we eat and how we feel when we eat, which is a great way to teach kids healthy habits.
Mindfulness exercises for the whole family!
There are many ways to practice mindfulness and to get started, here are some great short meditations you can listen to from the The University of California, Los Angeles Mindful Awareness Research Center.
Here are some mindfulness exercises you can practice at home with children
Get meditating & be mindful!
Meditation is esoteric and sometimes, one may feel that it is too hard or too advanced to work. But that is not the case. Meditation can be as simple as repeating an uplifting phrase or mantra for five minutes a day with your kids, watching your breath & body, or just sitting in silence and listening to what’s around you. These are all amazing meditation practices that can give us an even state of mind.
Pandemic or not, get the whole family together and start this journey towards better and stress-free days.
About the Guest Author
Sakina loves mindfulness and is a trained Yoga instructor who spends her time surfing and exploring things. She has studied Medical Anthropology at The University of California, Los Angeles, and is now living in Goa practising mindfulness and joy-based living. She has interest in holistic living and loves meeting new people and travelling.