In your work or home life, you’ve probably come across the concept of ‘mindfulness’. Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment – on the things around us, our thoughts and feelings.
It’s used to help us maintain a healthy outlook and keep our stress levels under control. Paying careful attention to the minutiae of our daily lives can help us appreciate the wonder of the natural world, feel and express gratitude for the privileges in our lives, and identify and proactively deal with problems and issues that arise.
If you’ve enjoyed the benefits of mindful living as an adult, you probably won’t be surprised to learn it also benefits children, as shown by academic research.
By practising mindfulness, your kids can build their self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and even improve their academic performance, among other benefits. Of course, getting them into good habits while they’re young also provides them with tools to get by when they reach adulthood.
The best way to get them started is to lead by example. Perhaps you pursue your mindfulness techniques in privacy, so your children don’t find out you can get stressed or unhappy? Kids, though, learn by observation and imitation and will probably be fascinated by the imaginative use of our neglected sense of smell, touch and hearing.
Breathing and eating mindfully may take a slightly more developed attention span, but you can take each day as it comes and enjoy witnessing your children’s gradual improvement. These are skills for life, so you don’t need to worry about rushing into them. More important is to eventually make mindfulness a part of your family’s daily routine.
This ace new infographic brought to you by Ozicare Life Insurance lists 15 techniques to help make your children more mindful. If one or another doesn’t capture their imagination, you can always move on to the next – and return to the tougher ones when their mindfulness is more advanced. Many of these exercises can be done in a group, so there’s really no excuse to delay making mindful living a fun and social part of your children’s daily lives.