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Mindfulness is defined as one’s ability to be fully present and aware of their surroundings. Additionally, the practice aids individuals in understanding their thoughts and emotions and provides tips for calming daily stressors, anxiety, and much more.
While adulting comes with its stressors, childhood also has its share of challenges — from obligations as a student to navigating friendships and the pressure to keep up (ahem, social media) to home life.
Mindfulness hacks for kids
Needless to say, instilling adolescents with the tools to be self-aware and equipping them with simple tips to calm the occasional stressor is better done sooner rather than later. This article will highlight seven mindfulness hacks for kids to help them embrace the calm.
Ever heard of the phrase, “You are what you eat?” This goes without saying when it comes to your little ones eating habits. The goal here is not to control every little thing your kids consume but to help them shape a deeper connection with food by making them more aware of the impact of their decisions in the hope they’ll create lifelong, healthy habits.
Begin by incorporating the following tips at mealtime:
1. Gather for dinner time.
2. Have your child rate their hunger level.
3. Have your child serve themselves.
4. Encourage slow eating.
5. Make healthy snacks easy to grab.
Yoga isn’t just for yogis. The practice, which originated about 5,000 years ago (in India), is a great option “for children to deal with stress and regulate themselves,” the National Library of Medicine (NIH) suggests. By looking inward through meditation, deep breathing, and long stretches, little ones can increase body awareness, reduce stress, and learn helpful techniques to improve concentration.
Much like yoga, deep breathing is a popular relaxation technique and a helpful mindfulness hack for kids. A 2022 study by Stanford found that introducing children to taking long, calm breaths — as little as one minute a day — can help kids refocus the mind, relax the body, reduce anxiety, and much more.
Regardless of your age, perspective is everything — so says the experts. According to a 2021 study, not only does practicing gratitude positively affect your well-being by aiding in combating “sadness, anxiety, or depression,” but it can also improve relationships. What better time to adopt this habit than when you are young?
While it may seem hard to compete with today’s technologies for kids, social media included, nothing tops the benefits of soaking up a little time in the sun.
According to the experts, moving “recess” outside fosters ” intellectual, emotional, social, and physical development.” The move promotes creativity, imagination, physical activity, and confidence as they learn the ins and outs of interacting with potential new playmates.
Research suggests that paying homage to a favorite pastime — think blowing bubbles — can reduce stress and anxiety and improve cognitive development.
The task itself requires a combination of deep breathing, concentration, and resilience. To top it off, blowing bubbles is just fun!
It’s no secret that affirmations are a powerful tool. These positive phrases can promote mental health, aid in stellar performance at school, and play a crucial role in building their self-esteem, confidence, and resilience.
Begin incorporating this practice into your day-to-day by having your child stand in front of the mirror during their morning routine (i.e, washing their face or brushing their teeth) and murmur any of the following:
1. “I am capable.”
2. “There is no one better to be than myself.”
3. “I am loved.”
4. “I can do anything I set my mind to.”
5. “It’s OK to make mistakes.”
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