Practising Mindfulness as a Family
What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is the act of being fully present in the moment and having full awareness of what is happening moment to moment. Through mindfulness practices, we can learn to be less reactive and more intentional in our words and actions, rather than being swept away by our emotions when they become very intense.
There are many mindfulness practices that can be adapted to bring more awareness to everyday activities: such as, eating, walking, preparing food etc.
Here are a couple simple practices to try with your family:
1) Mirroring exercise: Take a moment with your child to look closely into one each other’s eyes and see if you can find each other’s reflections. Ask your child to find their own image in your eyes and you try to find your image in their eyes. Use this exercise when talking to them or with anyone else. Always look for that connection when with another person, especially your child(ren).
2) Listen, Feel, Stop: Listen to all of the sounds outside of the room, inside of the room, and all around. Feel sensations in and in and on the body. Pause. Share what sounds you hear and notice. Share what was felt in and on the body. Incorporate this exercise throughout the day to create more moments to stop and be present in your daily routines. Incorporate into family dinners together by sitting down at the table and doing this exercise followed by each family member expressing gratitude for one thing. Once the exercise is complete, everyone is welcome to start eating.
Benefits to being more mindful day to day: decreased the feeling of stress and fatigue, getting to know oneself on a deeper level and become the kind of person others want to be around, quiets the mind, improves your health, improves your sleep and the list goes on and on…