May: Month of Mindfulness
Did you know that May is mindfulness month? Which means it’s the perfect time to start incorporating mindfulness into your life and the lives of those around you, specifically children.
We get it. Everyone has busy schedules. Multitasking has consumed our lives and it seems like we’re constantly moving at light speed. Each day we all try to fit in more than the day prior. And while you’ve likely read the endless research attesting to the positive impact meditation and mindfulness has on both adults and children – who really has time for it!?
Would you change your mind if we told you that by taking 20 minutes a day to meditate you could actually get more done? Don’t believe us? Check out this article fromHarvard Business Review:
Meditation or mindfulness improves so many facets of one’s life — well-being, physical health, mental health, etc. Who do you know that doesn’t need a little help to alleviate stress on a day to day basis? When you induce a state of relaxation, which can be achieved with mindfulness, you can reap the benefits.
Practicing mindfulness could even make you a better parent, friend or partner. In fact, your children might be the ones who reap the most benefits from your practice. Not only are kids more apt to try it if you do, but they inherently will feel the change. And for children it’s not only known to be effective in helping students achieve academic success but also manage social behavior, anxiety and build resilience.(Learn more HERE)
Mindfulness allows one to:
- listen intently and wholeheartedly
- observe your thoughts or emotions
- connect on a deeper level
Ultimately, the hope is to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation by purposefully paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment. And there are an infinite number of ways to be and practice mindfulness. Try incorporating thse four tips into your daily scdeudle this month:
Mindful Movement– Practice being aware of your whole body and do this with your kids. Yes, it’s yoga to a certain degree, but in any physical activity, such as BOKS,try pairing your breath with each movement. Attempt to notice where you feel muscles stretching, resistance and tightness. By doing this, you can be present and start to exercise balance and clarity. (Learn more HERE)
Meditate– Find a quiet spot in your home, sit, close your eyes, and practice slowly repeating a positive statement or mantra. By continuously repeating this statement out loud or silently, one begins to reach the unconscious mind which helps to attain a connection to this positive statement. Or if you don’t want to sit for an extended period of time just close your eyes and be silent for a few minutes each day, while focusing on taking deep breaths. Here are a few ideas for mantras for kids, but try making up one of your own!
- I am doing my best
- I matter
- I am important
- I am smart
- I am kind
Connect– With your senses and with each other. When you are lost in thought, you don’t experience what your senses are picking up. Pause to soak in the experience that you are in right then and there. Follow in your children’s footsteps and take a second to smell the flowers, breathe in the salty ocean air, put your toes in the sand – whatever it takes, remind yourself of the small things. Sometimes they are the most important.
Just Be– Get lost in doing things you love with your family and appreciate exactly where you are. We’re so focused on getting the right photo for Instagram or making sure that our children are happy, that we’re moving forward in our careers, relationships, etc. we don’t take the time to just be. By simply becoming aware of your place, non-judgmentally observing as the moments come and go, you are being more present.
Whether it’s today tomorrow, or two weeks from now you’re still going to be busy. So, try to take a minute to be mindful, and teach your children as you learn. Trust us, you’ll be happy you did.
By: Caeli Sullivan – BOKS Senior Manager, Business Partnerships; Certified Yoga Instructor