Implement Mindfulness Practice with Your Kids and Yourself
Hello new friends and old! If you are ready to renew your mindfulness practice, or dive right in for the first time, I am so glad you found this post. One way to nurture positivity at home or in the classroom is through mindfulness practice.
What is mindfulness?If you aren't familiar with mindfulness, it is basically just being aware. It doesn't sound like much, but our brains and bodies tend to get easily distracted by all of the sensory input we experience on a day to day basis.
How to Get Started with Mindfulness PracticeThe most basic way to practice mindfulness is with breathing. For children, this might be too difficult for them, so you can try practicing while you walk around the perimeter of your classroom or at recess. Try to focus on only your breath as you breath in and out, and to feel all of the sensations of your body. Notice your thoughts and try to clear them and come back to just breathing. Notice your body. Are you tense? Try to release any tense muscles and just breathe.
Why should I practice mindfulness in the classroom?In addition to many possible health benefits, you will train yourself to live in the moment. The past cannot be changed, and the future is not yet written. By living and being present in the here and now, you will be much more likely to notice simple pleasures and simply enjoy being alive. If you can notice negative feelings before they get too strong, it is easier to release them.
Mindfulness can also help us laugh at ourselves and the world - not in a negative way, but just in an awareness way. Being able to laugh and shrug off minor nuisances can make life so much more enjoyable. I'm not saying you should shrug off the big stuff, but that little stuff? It's really not worth it. You are worth more than that.
A Natural Path to KindnessWhen you are more aware of yourself, you will start to notice when tension is forming. By releasing that tension, you will find it easier to practice kindness. That might help you experience less frustration. How many times do you experience road rage or frustration with your kids for not being ready to leave on time or clean up their toys? There is always a nice way to approach a situation, and when you can find that way in the moment, what a lovely victory that is! I'm not saying this will happen all the time, but it can really change the way a day unfolds.
Mindfulness Practice Tools
I have created a set of guided mindfulness cards to get you started! These are designed to be done either at a desk or standing. You don't need a lot of space for these. I created them with classroom children in mind, so the poses and instructions are very basic, but these also work well if you homeschool or are just looking for something to at home with your children to help keep them centered. These are lifelong tools!
You can download a free sample of four guided mindfulness cards here:
Three Simple Mindful Mantras to Get StartedIf you need a few mantras to repeat while you start on your mindfulness practice, these are ones that even kids will understand.
1. I am grateful. Think about all of the things you are grateful for. Food, shelter, a sunny day, a smile from a friend, health, etc. Whatever you do have, you can focus on being appreciative of it instead of worrying about what you don't have.
2. I accept. Accept your limitations and your strengths. Accept that today is a new day and tomorrow will be as well. Accept the situation for what it is. Whatever your feelings are, accept them, too. Then you can move on to the next mantra!
3. I release. Once you have acknowledged your feelings, let them go! If you have tightness in your face, notice it and then release it. If you have been feeling unhappy about a relationship, note it but then let those negative feelings drift away.
Here are three more great ones specifically for kids that you'll want to check out from Left Brain Buddha. There are wonderful activities that go with them, too:
Mindful Mantras for Kids
Not just for the kids! Take care of yourself with mindfulness.Though these cards have cute images and animals on them, this practice is not just for them. Do you spend a lot of time working on your laptop, hunched over helping your students, or texting with friends?
All of that takes a toll on you. Your neck and back will thank you if you practice these exercises several times a day! Take care of you. Love yourself first and then you can send out your love to others much more easily.
Go Deeper with MindfulnessIf you are looking for even more mindfulness resources, head on over to Mindfulness Matters and More, which also includes nonviolent communication tips, bucket filling activities, and more!
What can I expect with mindfulness practice?Mindfulness practice is just like any other practice. The more you do it, the better you will become at it. It might seem silly or odd at first, or you might not feel like it does anything for you at first. In time, you will feel renewed and look forward to practicing mindfulness.
Namaste, friends! Pin this post for later: