Mindfulness is the new buzz word it would seem but what does it really mean?
To me children already practice mindfulness, they are in the now, they do not judge, they have no pre conceived ideas of how things ‘should’ be. They eat when they are hungry, they drink when they are thirsty… they cry when they are upset and laugh when they are happy.
As children get older they can struggle to cope with academic demands, feelings around friendships or just life in general.
So at what point does a child stop listening to their intuition, stop expressing their emotions and start fitting into our social and cultural requirements?
There is no one ‘right’ answer, as each child ‘learns’ from the adults around them. They pick up habits/patterns from the people that they love and trust.
As grown-ups we have a huge role to play in guiding and supporting the leaders of the next generation.
So when we think of bringing mindfulness to children, are we really bringing it to them? Or could it be that we are indeed relearning how to be a child in order for the children in our care to stay mindful in their approach to life?
If we take this approach then we can have peace of mind, that if we are willing to participate in these practices then the next generation, the leaders and creators of our world will use these techniques as part of their everyday life.
How can mindfulness help children?
∙ It gives them access to tools they can use when stressful situations arise in their life
∙ Makes them calmer and more fulfilled
∙ Makes them feel happier
∙ Allows them to enjoy whatever they are doing in life without the need to add stress
The Mini Me Yoga 15 minute programme is one way I have brought a daily practice of mindfulness to families and classrooms around the world, but there are many ways you can do this in your life.
Here are a few simple ways of being mindful with your children ….
1. Breathe – when we focus on our breath we are in the moment.
2. Love – when we send or receive love we allow all other negative thoughts to disappear, we become close to who and what we truly are…unconditional love for all, as it is said to be the key to peace on earth.
3. Laugh/Play – happiness makes us feel alive.
4. Connect – bonding or touch releases hormones in the physical body that brings instant peace.
5. Meditate – it doesn’t have to be cross legged and empty minded – we can create art, walk, dance or just listen to the sounds around us to bring the benefits of meditation into our life.
“If every eight year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”