What we did:
This week in mindfulness, we practiced watching our thoughts closely. Thoughts are normal - they come and go - but we have a choice whether or not to follow them. For one minute, students focused on their breath, instructed to say “breathing in, breathing out” in correlation with their breath, and when they noticed a thought, they labeled it “thinking” and attempted to come back to their breath. Many students stuck with it, with eyes closed and deep focus!
How you can follow up:
Try the activity above - ask your child to explain it to you so you can try it. Another activity to try is to do the same “breathing in, breathing out” in your mind with the pace of your breath, and insert a “1, 2, etc” after each breath cycle. See how far you can get. Ask your child if they have tried this (I suggested it to them as well.) Please do gently encourage your child to practice a mindfulness activity for a minute a day. The benefits to mindfulness, again, are decreased stress, increased focus, and increased self-regulation. As we practice mindfulness, we practice paying attention closely, and in turn eventually reap the benefits! But, we have to practice!
Here is a link to teaching teens mindfulness - and it offers many links within it to many researched-based articles. This week, we talked about how mindfulness can actually increase grey matter in the areas of the brain responsible for memory and learning! Check it out!