Our kids, Stress, and mindful tools
Stress effects kids and parents alike. However, there's a few tools that can be used anywhere and anytime and are the perfect way to cultivate relaxation.
For tweens and teens (and their parents too) school and work can be a pressure cooker of stressful demands that leads to communication challenges, reactiveness, and decreases our ability to concentrate. What’s worse, is that we often fail to recognize that we are stuck in this high-stress state, handicapping ourselves to approach everyday problems and tasks from a position of mental strength.
Studies show that incorporating mindfulness can help kids and adults alike to be resistant to the constant barrage of the stimulus. Meditation and mindfulness allow us to be present and selective with our thoughts, creating space for focus and concentration and reflection.
As parents, we work hard to be a stable rock of consistency for our tweens and teens who are beginning to experience this barrage of stress that we have become so accustomed to. Even though it may not seem as though they care, our children pick up on our every move, habit, and value system we practice.
When children observe their parents practicing balance, it helps them learn to cope with the challenges that life presents in a healthy and stable way. When balance and mindfulness are practiced together as a family, the benefits multiply exponentially. We learn to handle our own life stressors and foster family bonding and connection on a deep spiritual level.
Namaste’s wellness advisors and coaches specialize in supporting families as they navigate building an effective practice in-person or virtually. Our annual membership is applicable to the entire household, making it easier than ever for everyone to cultivate a consistent and healthy habit of mindfulness.
Counting Meditation - Find a comfortable seat or lie down. Begin to count slowly backward from 100 to 1, while breathing evenly. When your mind wanders, label the thought and return to the numbers. If you lose your count, be gentle with yourself and begin again from 100. If you reached 1, stay in silence for a few more moments. This is a great practice for developing concentration and can leave kids feeling more centered and relaxed.
Partner Meditation - Sit back to back with a friend. Breathe deeply and slowly, feeling each other breathing through your backs. Try to coordinate the rhythm of your breath, inhaling and exhaling in unison, without talking to one another. Feel a sense of connection to your friend and how we share each other's air and life-force. Feel the interconnectedness of all of us.
Close the Senses - Find a comfortable seat or lie down on your back. Keep your shoulders relaxed and start breathing deeply. Cover your eyes, ears, nose and mouth in the following way: Gently, place your thumbs in your ears to close off the sound, place your index fingers on your eyelids, your middle fingers on your nose, the next set of fingers above your lips, and your pinky fingers under your lips. Continue to breathe deeply enough that you hear your breath loudly inside your head. After about 10-15 deep breaths, begin to make your breath so quiet that you can barely hear it at all. Next, tune in to sounds from the outside, developing a deep sense of presence and awareness. Remain here for 2-5 more minutes and release your hands. Keep your eyes closed for a few more gentle breaths and then open your eyes feeling more centered, attuned and relaxed.