Mindfulness for Children

by Megan Sy, M.S.

In the past several years, mindfulness-based interventions have received plenty of support in terms of their efficacy in decreasing negative emotions. Aspects of mindfulness may blend well with REBT theory and practice. For children, it may be particularly helpful to teach and practice mindfulness as it can strengthen their ability to perceive the world around them and their internal experiences. This in turn may allow them to better identify their thoughts, beliefs, and emotions. Below are some activities/ exercises that can help teach mindfulness to younger children (or the young at heart):
Mindfulness Jar: Fill a glass jar or water bottle with water, glitter, and some dish soap or glue. Shake the jar and watch the glitter settle, while encouraging calm and quiet breathing.
Mindful Eating: Slowly eat a small piece of chocolate (or any small item of food) while noticing all the accompanying sensations – how it looks, feels, smells, and tastes.
Belly Breathing: Put one hand on stomach to feel it rise and fall while taking deep slow breaths.
Mindful Bedtime: Spend a few minutes before bed focusing on different parts of the body and feeling the sensations of relaxation in each area.
So the next time your child,your spouse, or even yourself is experiencing anxiety, stress, or tension, give one or all of these a shot!
Megan Sy
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