The evidence is undeniable, mindfulness does work!
Many schools across the UK have now adopted the regular practice of mindfulness. Time is set aside each day, to make sure the students are given space to focus on one thing, such as sound or their own breathing while reducing unwanted distractions. Studies have shown that regular mindfulness practice actually improves a child’s ability to pay attention in the classroom and work through their emotional issues giving them a better sense of self awareness.
Mindfulness is not just for the classroom.
During the summer holidays you can continue this practice with your child. It will only take 5 minutes of your time but you will soon benefit from the practice too. Once a day for six weeks and you’ll see improvements at home and in the workplace.
Listening – schools often use a bell for this activity. No bell? now bother, click here for 5 minutes of bell sounds. Find a space where you can sit comfortably together. Listen to the sound of the bell for as long as you can hear it. Take a deep breath and wait for the sound of the next bell. Repeat for each chime of the bell focusing on your breathing while listening to the bell.
Breathing – sit comfortably, placing your hands on your stomach. Take several deep breaths, in through the nose for a count of three and out through the mouth for a count of three. Feel the movement in your hands. Notice the movement and temperature of the air flowing through your nose. Compare this to the movement and temperature of the air flowing through the mouth.
Spin breathing – you can use a homemade pin-wheel to give visual focus while being mindful of your breathing. Simply create a pinwheel similar to the one in this video. Sit comfortably and repeat the breathing exercise, causing the wheel to spin on every out breath.
Finger breathing – stretch out the fingers on one hand. Taking a deep breath in, use the index finger on the other hand to trace the outline of the stretched out fingers. One finger trace to every breath, five breaths, five digits. Swap hands and repeat the exercise.
Name five – this is so quick and easy to do. Sit together in any room of the house. Take turns to name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. This will definitely bring awareness of your surroundings and calm the mind. It’s also fun to do.
Have fun with your child this summer. Just five minutes a day nurturing your mindfulness will work wonders for the whole family.