We recently discussed the benefits of mindfulness and meditation and how we use the principles with children in our counselling sessions.
And, while there’s many ways to practice meditation, the benefits of a few moments of meditation a day can go a very long way.
Meditation teacher Jon Krop has listed a few key ways that you or your kids can get some calm and quiet in your life every day, or whenever you need it.
It comes in the form of what he calls a ‘mindful pause’.
It’s a 30-second ‘spot treatment’ for times of stress and anxiety.
This quick-fix can be really beneficial for kids when school work is getting overwhelming, before a big sport game, or whenever they just need a moment to calm down and relax.
And we don’t need to list the times that parents could use a mindful moment to themselves!
Here are Jon’s tips for taking a mental time-out whenever you need one:
- Take a deep breath, focusing on filling your lungs with air. This will not only encourage you to take your mind off whatever is causing feelings of stress, but physically, slowing and deepening your breathing also creates feelings of calm.
- Turn toward your body. Take note of whatever physical sensations you are experiencing, good or bad. Again – this can help to distract you from what is distressing you, and helps to insulate you from any anxious feelings or negative thoughts.
- Pay attention to your breath. Breathe normally, but focus on it, in turn taking your mind away (even for a split second) from negative or anxious thoughts.
- Get back on with things! But don’t rush to it. Take a few seconds to open your eyes and calmly get back to whatever you were doing. At the very least, your mindful pause will have given you some momentary relief, and ideally, you will have a new sense of calm to reinvigorate you for getting back to business.
Give yourself a mindful moment next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, and try it out with your kids too!
Even on the busiest days, you and your kids have 30 seconds to take time out and relax.
And you’ll be surprised how beneficial a few seconds of downtime can be.