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Mindfulness Exercise for Children

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing 100% of your attention to the present moment, allowing you to become fully engaged with where you are and what you are doing. There are many benefits to practicing mindfulness, one of the best is being able to walk through life much more calmly and to problem solve with a clear head. Additionally, mindfulness exercise for children can cultivate emotional intelligence and support their overall well-being, as extensive research backs the numerous psychological, emotional, and physical benefits of this practice.

Mindfulness Exercise for today:

Get comfortable in a quiet area where you can minimize interruptions and assume a sitting position that keeps your back straight. Place your hands in your lap with your palms up. (I always say “palms facing the sky”) Close your eyes.

Breathe in deep through your nose, slowly, filling your lungs completely. Breathe out through your mouth, (slowly and controlled) completely emptying your lungs. Repeat this long deep breath 3 times.

Now shift your attention to answering the following questions:

  • Right now I see _________________________.
  • Right now I hear _____________________________.
  • Right now I smell __________________________________.
  • Right now I am touching ______________________________.
  • Right now I feel ________________________________________.When you have finished answering the questions do the following:Notice your observations and whether or not they were detailed. Each time you do the exercise, increase the amount of detail when answering the questions.Pick one of your positive observations and use it as a prompt for managing stress throughout your day.

• EXAMPLE: “right now I hear the gentle breeze outside blowing soft musical wind chimes”. I can refer back to this experience to calm myself during stressful events that arise during the day and then refocus myself on my priorities.

Finish the exercise by drinking some water to reground yourself.

Parents – This is a great exercise to do with your children, particularly your younger children. You are teaching internal controls which they will need throughout their lives. It also is a quiet positive moment to engage with children and build trust and intimacy. You can use it as a way to calm a child who is angry or upset to orient them to the moment and diffuse some emotion so they can then process the event that has upset them. It begins to teach them how to manage their emotions instead of their emotions managing them.

Written By:
Bethany Keith, MSW, LCSW
Casey Merrill

Casey Merrill

LPC-MHSP

Christal Pennic

Christal Pennic

LPC-MHSP