Mindfulness

With the warm weather approaching, people are starting to spend more time outside. The extra Vitamin D may boost people’s’ mood and energy levels, but there is also another added benefit to enjoying nature: practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness means paying attention to the present moment nonjudgmentally. It means not dwelling on the past or focusing on the future.

 

Mindfulness has been found to have a wide range of benefits for people of all ages. While mindfulness may seem like an advanced concept, it has been found to also benefit children of all ages by grounding them in the moment. Mindfulness strategies help to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, improve focus and attention, and improve one’s overall mood. In today’s society, children are being diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, and depression more frequently. Teaching children different mindfulness skills can help children  improve their ability to focus and to self-regulate. Mindfulness can also decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression by helping children learn to live in the moment and let  their negative thoughts go. Mindfulness can also help improve parents’ mood and decrease stress levels. Teaching children mindfulness is important, whether or not they have a diagnosis, as it can grow into one of the healthiest habits a person can use throughout their life.

 

The main way a child communicates is through play, and mindfulness strategies can be taught to our children through games. Paying attention to our present environment can help a person feel less stressed or anxious. One way to do that is to play the “5 things” game where you choose to find 5 things you can see, hear, or touch. Taking deep breaths while finding 5 different things in a room or in nature can help build mindfulness skills in children or adults. This is a great activity to practice in nature and can teach your child how to live each day more mindfully. Another strategy to teach your child or teen is mindful eating. You can practice this by choosing one bite for a person to focus on. Have them describe what it looks like and smells like before they take their first bite and then have them describe what the bite tastes like. This helps children learn how to enjoy their food rather than going through the motions of eating. Mindfulness can also help children learn how to accept their emotions, rather than pushing them to the side and trying to ignore them. One way to help children explore their emotions in the moment is to ask them to draw how they are feeling. This activity should be done during different times of the day when the child is feeling different emotions. It can help them learn how to be intune with their emotions and also self-regulate.

 

If you believe your child, teenager, or yourself could benefit from learning more about mindfulness in order to decrease symptoms of Autism, ADHD, anxiety, depression, and any other mental health symptoms, please contact Children’s Wellness and Developmental Center!

 

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Monday 11am - 4pm
Tuesday 9am - 4pm
Wednesday 11am - 7pm
Thursday 10am - 5pm
Friday 10am - 2pm

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Children’s Wellness & Developmental Center
2006 State Highway 71 Suite 4
Spring Lake Hts, NJ 07762 Monmouth County
T: 732.919.1335
F: 732-782-0353
E: info@cwdcenter.com

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