Practicing Mindfulness With Your Family

December 3, 2015

With school breaks, holidays, and maybe just some extra stress this time of year, there are many uses for mindfulness in the home setting.  Mindfulness is defined as the state of active, open attention on the present.  When people are mindful, they can observe their feelings and emotions in the moment and be nonjudgmental.  Far too often, it is habit to always think of and/or worry about the future, judge our feelings, or judge what is going on around us.  When practicing mindfulness by oneself or with others, people discover a new peace and more productive sense of self.  Here are some tips of how you can practice mindfulness with your family.

Share About Your Highs and Lows

Ever sit at the dinner table and ask your kids/parents/siblings how their day was and gotten the response, “Fine” or “We didn’t do anything”? This can be tough but fixed easily. Instead, take turns sharing a high point of your day and a low point of your day.  Take turns by having a talking object, such as a rock or significant object to your family.  This will not only allow families to have mindful discussions reflecting on their days but will also practice listening and speaking skills.

 Color

In recent years, psychologists have discovered the value of coloring to relieve stress at all ages.  Coloring allows people to focus on one thing, being mindful of the present and engaging in only one activity.  Take time with your family to draw or color using child and adult coloring books.  This works best when there is a distraction free environment void of technology.  Share works after completed and state some emotions that family members were experiencing as they created their art.

 Family Quiet Time

Often we feel as though we have to find “entertainment” for kids and adults.  That entertainment now frequently comes in the form of technology.  When exposed to a significant amount of technology and media, social skills quickly become limited and hindered.  Instead, implement a time everyday to have family quiet time.  Have the family spend time in the same room working on a craft, building a puzzle, reading, cooking, or simply just enjoying the quiet.  Showing children that they can be away from their devices will enable them to increase creativity, sleep better, and communicate more affectively.

Mindfulness is the state of being active and open to the present.  The future will be there tomorrow.  Spend time tonight with your family in the moment.  You just may discover something new about others and yourself! 

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