At GLAD House we have incorporated mindfulness activities into our daily schedule. Mindfulness is simply….noticing what is happening right now. Mindfulness is taking notice of how your body feels and what you see, hear, smell and taste. By bringing awareness to your 5 senses, mindfulness can help you deal with difficult emotions and aid in calming you down when you’re sad, angry, or frustrated. By practicing mindfulness you are able to change your relationships with your emotions, thoughts, and negative self-talk.
Most of us tend to be reactive, so when someone says something we don’t like, we react. We might react by saying something mean that we later wish we could take back. Or our feelings may get hurt and it could take days to deal with it. However, mindfulness helps us to create space between our strong emotion and our actions. Basically, we learn to pay attention to our thoughts and feelings, so we can respond in a more positive and well thought-out way, without hurting ourselves or others.
Mindfulness has a lot of other benefits too! Several scientific studies show that mindfulness decreases stress and anxiety, improves impulse control, improves focus and awareness, improves sleep, and increases compassion and kindness.
The best part is that mindfulness activities can be fun! Our kids love the various mindfulness activities they try at GLAD House. We do mindful coloring, mindful crafts, mindful breathing, mindful walks, mindful eating, etc.
TRY THIS AT HOME!
I encourage you to incorporate mindfulness breaks as part as your family routine. You can start by creating a bedtime ritual the last 10-15 minutes before bed. Below is a bedtime mindfulness activity for you to try with your kids at home.
Get your kids in bed and have them lay on their back, while holding a plush toy or teddy bear on their tummies. Ask them to “breathe” the toy to sleep. The rise and fall of their tummies, and watching the teddy move while they do so, will start to make them aware of their own breathing–both deep and shallow. Your kids will be in the “now,” and slowly drift off to sleep.
How do you incorporate mindfulness into your daily life?