Mindfulness is a positive practice, but what is it really? Is it clearing your mind entirely? Is it focusing on one thing? Do you need to be in a trance to practice mindfulness? Let’s get to the bottom of this practice that can be so beneficial for children and adults alike.
How to Define Mindfulness for Children
First of all, mindfulness does not require you to be in any sort of trancelike state. It also doesn’t involve clearing your mind entirely, which is good, because that is next to impossible.
Instead, mindfulness is staying in the moment, not getting sucked into the regret or despair of the past, and not jumping ahead into the anxious moments of the future. Mindfulness is just being in the now—like Now Cow in Kelly Caleb’s mindfulness books for children.
Children can practice mindfulness at any time. While it may involve choosing to be in a meditative state, it does not always require that. As an example, mindfulness is often practiced by children during sports. Their mind is clear of everything but what they are doing at the time, focused entirely on getting a goal (or touchdown, or basket) and supporting their team members.
Helpful Facts About Mindfulness for Children
Mindfulness is not weird. Mindfulness is familiar to children because it’s what they already do, as in the example above. It can be called other things like focus, awareness, observation, and consideration.
Children don’t need to change. Trying to change who a child is to solve their problems fails. Mindfulness is already a part of who a child is, so they can learn to practice it easily and successfully.
Any child can practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is not a religious belief or a skill that requires a person to change any beliefs they currently hold. It simply pulls forth universal human qualities. And it’s easy to learn.
Mindfulness is a way of living. Once a child learns to practice mindfulness, it becomes a way of living. It brings awareness and caring to everything they do while it cuts down on needless stress. Mindfulness makes children’s lives better.
It’s evidence-based. Both science and experience demonstrate the positive benefits of mindfulness for children’s health, happiness, education, and relationships.
It sparks creativity and innovation. The world is increasingly complex and uncertain, and children can feel that. Mindfulness leads to effective, resilient, creative responses to seemingly impossible problems.
Mindfulness is Not All in Your Head
Thinking about mindfulness and meditation may cause you to focus solely on your thoughts. But as Fighter Spider learns, mindfulness begins and ends in the body. Meditation involves taking the time to pay attention to where we are and what is going on, and that begins with being aware of our body.
This is calming right at the beginning because our body has internal rhythms that help it relax if we give it the opportunity. The simplest meditation practice involves breathing in and out slowly while counting and paying attention to each breath and how the body feels. Anybody can do this at almost any time to reduce feelings of stress or anxiety, cool down their temper, and sharpen their concentration skills.
Now Cow Teaches Mindfulness for Children
In each of his books, Now Cow teaches various aspects of mindfulness for children. Whether it’s learning to breathe in and out, focus on their yin and yang, or focus on good habits, Now Cow can teach your child mindfulness while entertaining them and empathizing with feelings all children have at times.
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