Mindfulness is a strategy that can help us become more fully aware of what’s happening around us and, in turn, feel more fully alive. We’ve probably all heard the word “mindful,” but when we’re talking about mindfulness as an approach to life, we’re talking about something different. We’re talking about very purposefully paying attention to what is going on in the present moment, without worrying about the past or the future, and without judging ourselves in the present. When we are mindful, we focus on our thoughts, feelings, and what is going on in our bodies—and accept whatever that might be. We slow down, and notice the world around us. In the process, we also become aware of things we had no idea we were missing!
Our lives appear to be moving faster than ever. We are in a constant state of information overload due to having a digital device constantly at our fingertips and access to around-the-clock news. We may have overbooked schedules and multiple commitments, and lack a healthy balance between work and downtime. It is common to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, tired, and stressed out. Similarly, children and teens are exposed to many sources of stimulation throughout the day, not limited to the computer, smartphone, and other electronic devices. They may also be involved in many social, academic, and extracurricular activities that keep them on the go and their minds constantly moving.
For children and teenagers, learning how to take a pause requires practice and support from adults, just like learning to play an instrument or ride a bicycle. We want to encourage them to pause so they can catch their breath; be in the moment; experience what they are thinking, feeling, and doing; and regulate their emotions and behavior. Read on for some helpful tips for teaching mindfulness to children and teens.
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At Magination Press Family: Stress & Anxiety in Kids, you’ll find helpful, reliable guidance from the experts at APA, including trustworthy information about anxiety, as well as a catalog of books published by Magination Press that specifically address stress and anxiety in a kid-friendly manner.
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Getting the help of a trained, licensed professional may be the best thing for your child. The APA’s Psychologist Locator can help you locate a therapist in your area.
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