How Can My Family Master Mindfulness?
If you’ve passed a magazine rack lately, you’ve likely seen that mindfulness is all the rage right now. Experts in health and wellness are raving about the many benefits of mindfulness and how its principles can improve your family’s well-being. But what exactly is mindfulness, and how the heck do you practice it?
Teach your family these 8 tips to enjoy the benefits of mindfulness:
1. Understand what mindfulness is
The fancy definition of mindfulness is, “a state of mind that appreciates the flow of consciousness in real time and with acceptance.” Basically, it’s the idea that you accept your feelings in the present moment without judging yourself for them. Mindful thinking can be very helpful for children learning to manage tough emotions, teens who are worried about their futures, and adults who are bombarded with daily distractions.
2. Discover its benefits
Mindfulness has been practiced for thousands of years and its many benefits include:
Promoting mental & emotional well-being
Decreasing negative reactions
Enhancing physical health
Reducing stress and depression
Promoting empathy and self-compassion
Increasing resiliency and positive risk-taking
3. Go easy on yourself
A core concept of mindfulness is to acknowledge what you are feeling from an objective viewpoint, and not judging yourself for having negative feelings. For example, if a mom is feeling at her wit’s end with her kids, she could practice mindfulness by calmly saying to herself, “I am feeling frustrated right now.” By acknowledging your feelings, you remind yourself that they are temporary, natural, and do not define your life.
4. Focus on the present
Those of us prone to anxiety tend to worry about the future, and those of us who struggle with depression often dwell on the past. Mindfulness invites you to focus all of your attention to the present moment, releasing negative feelings from past experiences or fears of the unknown. Practice grounding your thinking to the present moment by focusing on each of your senses.
I am seeing the clock tick
I am tasting an apple
I am smelling lavender oil
I am feeling the carpet beneath my feet
I am hearing my favorite song on the radio
5. Accept the emotions of others
Mindfulness is not only about being able to accept your emotions without judgement - it’s also about embracing the emotions of others without blaming or shaming them. If you feel that your teen is acting entitled because they cried when you took their car keys away, practice mindfulness by acknowledging their feelings, even if you don’t agree with their perspective.
“I understand you’re feeling sad that you can’t take the car out tonight. It’s ok to feel sad about it.”
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6. Get in tune with your body
Bringing focus to your breathing and movement is a great way to stay in the present. Practice mindfulness through yoga, nature walks, and creative projects. Listen to music and pay attention to how your mood and body react to songs you hear. Reflect on each living cell and muscle group that compose the intricate systems of your living body. Tense and release your muscles and just take time to dwell on the gift of being alive.
7. Do it anytime & anywhere
Many mindfulness masters set aside 10 or more minutes a day to sit in a quiet place and use guided meditations from books or online videos. That’s a great thing to do, but you can also just take quick moments to yourself at any time to refocus your thinking. Whether you’re stressed at work, upset with a family member, or overjoyed by some great news, it’s never a bad time to close your eyes, become aware of your breathing, and acknowledge the present moment.
Need a few mindful minutes?
Click here to listen to a guided mindfulness practice. Written by
Dr. Daniella A. Davis
8. Get a mindfulness mentor
Dr. Daniella A. Davis, Psy.D., is an expert in women’s issues and has conducted research on the impact of mindfulness. If you are a woman struggling with anxiety, depression, or relationship challenges, Dr. Davis can support you with mindful techniques to empower your emotional health.
Dr. Elsa Torres, Psy.D., is a specialist in counseling. If your family needs support in coping with trauma, depression, anxiety, or other challenges, Dr. Torres can guide you in embracing mindful thinking and improving your family’s emotional health.
Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D., is an expert in Child and Educational psychology. If you’re concerned your child or teen’s emotional development is not on track, Dr. Shinn can recommend support that will empower your child’s emotional health.
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Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.
Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).
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How to Cite This Blog Article:
Shinn. M.M. (2019). How Can My Family Master Mindfulness? Psychologically Speaking. [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/test-blog/how-can-my-family-master-mindfulness