Teaching Mindfulness

There is lots of talk about mindfulness but how do we teach this valuable lifelong skill?

Here is a Website that helps address this void: https://childmind.org/article/the-power-of-mindfulness/

The problem with teaching mindfulness is this: to be authentic requires our own regular practice, otherwise it’s really tough to feel comfortable with the whole idea. Now that we are all online—this noble endeavor may seems even more challenging. BUT IT’S NOT!

Remember, one of the simple ways we probably already incorporate mindfulness into our lives is to focus on the breath. How about right now? Let’s take a few deep belly breaths. Belly breathing causes your abdomen to extend on the intake and compress on the outflow. Aim for three full breaths. Now.

How many of you quit before three? Ha! Me too! Well, then that’s our first challenge: practicing three full belly breaths twice a day.

Let’s try that again now. Yes, right now:) To help me focus on my breath, I close my eyes. If I’m really struggling to focus on my just my breath, then I count to six on the inhale. Pause. Then I count to four on the exhale.

Ahh. I feel better already. My shoulder and neck feel looser even after just a few deep breaths. So now would be a good time to do a nice forward neck roll. Drop your chin to your chest and just roll your head side to side. Try to keep those deep, calm breaths going. Then just turn your head from side to side, slowly, breathing. Roll your shoulders, still focused on your breathing. Now let’s set one positive intention for the day. A positive intention may simply be to eat healthy foods. Or to take a 15-minute walk at lunch. Or to place your hand on your heart and say “I love you.” Perhaps your positive intention involves sharing this support to your community, such as “I am going to smile kindly to a stranger today.” Or “I am going to sit and be present with my family for at least 30 minutes with no other distraction.” Or “I am going to wash my dog today with a fun towel dry.” Or “I am going to show support for someone in my online community.” Or “I am going to call a person dear to me just to check in.” Or, “I am going to reach out to someone who is struggling and offer my support.”

Set your intention. And with that, you have just started your mindfulness practice. Let’s try again tomorrow:)

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