5 Simple Ways of Having A Calm Day with Your Children

Have you ever noticed how when your day starts off on the wrong foot, it pretty much continues that way? Or so it would seem.

Picture the scene: you stub your toe on the corner of the bed, no petrol in the car, phone running out of battery (why do iPhones do that?). Nothing is going your way and the air is blue as you rush around in headless chicken mode thinking to yourself, ‘Today is going to be a really bad day!’  Inevitably it is.  Why?  Because your thinking is.

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Last night, I attended a Law of Attraction Group in Covent Garden and felt instantly inspired.  If you are thinking;  hippies in tie dye burning incense and chanting, you are wrong.  Although incense was burnt and we did meditate but I’ll talk more about that in a bit.  It was a group of ‘normal’ people like you and I.

Tune into a happy place: look at what you already have!

For those of you who are newbies to the Law of Attraction, it is quite simply about creating the life that you want.  An open-minded philosophy that focuses your attention on all that you are grateful for in you life so you attract more of the same to you.  Your thoughts are energy and they have a frequency much like a radio station.  So, if you are tuned into fear, worry and sadness, you cannot attract happiness, love and peace into your life.

‘Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never ever have enough!’    ~Oprah Winfrey

Practice Mindfulness = Fully Present in the Moment

When we are worrying about the future or fretting about the past, we are not in the present moment.  We cannot do anything about what may happen or what has happened.  However, we can change what is happening right NOW.  For adults that can be meditation or doing something with your full attention like washing up.  Notice the bubbles, feel the water on your skin, watch the dirt wash away down the plughole.

It is proven that 10 minutes of mindfulness a day develops social and emotional intelligence in children and adults resulting in greater self-awareness, less stress, and higher levels of happiness and empathy.  Finding a quiet place within (and detaching your mind) can help have greater control over emotions and lead to a more peaceful way of being.  Surprisingly, a famous actress has written a book called 10 Mindful Minutes that is reviewed on Amazon as ‘Practical, timely, relevant, and inspiring, 10 Mindful Minutes is Goldie Hawn’s gift to parents who want to help their children learn better and live happier lives.’

Make Brain Breaks Part of Your Every Day Life

For children, meditation can come in different guises as it’s not so easy for them to sit still for very long!  This is something that we do as part of my workshops.  In fact I’ve just created a new workshop called Room to Breathe which teaches children why knowing how to relax and be still is so important. Integrating mindfulness into your daily routine and making it fun is the way to do it.  The part of the day that can be the most frantic but also realistically where you can fit it in.  I’m thinking after supper and before bath time.

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So what we do in a coaching session is we time our breathing for one minute.  Breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth counts as ONE breath.  I set the timer on my phone and we all sit in silence with our eyes closed while we breathe.  I some times help smaller children who lose count!  Then the fun begins.  We try different ways of being mindful – or brain breaks as I like to call them.  They can reduce the number of breaths you do in a minute by half and when children learn this, they are empowered!  Magical!

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Here are 5 different brain breaks you might like to try with your children:-

    1. Walking on the Grass without your shoes and socks on – grounding energy which is fun on a sunny day.  Find a patch of grass and pretend you are walking along a tight rope.  Concentrate on not wobbling or falling off.  Do this for as long as you can.
    2. Cloud Watching – lie on a comfy blanket with pillows and look for what shapes you can see in the sky.  Children are so creative and their imaginations unlimited.  They will see all sorts of amazing shapes and objects.
    3. Bubble Blowing – if you have a bubble machine even better, but if not, just spend some time blowing bubbles and watch them drifting and popping.  Notice the colours and the way the light reflects on them.  This is also a great stress reliever if you want to jump about to some uplifting music and burst or catch as many of them as you can. When we were little we used to make bubbles in the bath by covering our hands in soapy water (great way to get them to wash if you are struggling).  You rub you Put your index finger and thumb together. Then, slowly open your fingers to form a circle and see if a soap membrane has been formed.  Then you breathe into it and hey presto, you have a bubble.
    4. Visualisation – if you have never done visualisation before, there are some great ones here  It’s about getting your child to picture happy places in their mind.  This is a great one for bedtimes and children who struggle to go to sleep.  Visualisation works because the brain cannot distinguish between real and imaginary. Dr David Hamilton, says: ”In one of the studies done in Harvard University, they had people sit in front of a piano and they were asked to play a simple combination of notes in the piano with each of the fingers, so it was something on the lines of “pom-pom- pom-pom- pom-pom- pom-pom- pom… pom-pom- pom-pom- pom-pom- pom-pom- pom. And they have to do this repetitively for over and over and over again for two hours straight in five consecutive days. And looking at images of the brain, we find that the area of the brain connected to the finger muscles have actually grown like a muscle. That’s what you need to think yourself and use this analogy that the brain changes so much and it actually grows like a muscle or shrinks if you don’t exercise it.But the amazing part of this experiment is a separate group of people were asked to do the same thing but instead of having a piano in front of them, they had to imagine it. So they had to just imagine going “pom-pom-pom-pom-pom-pom-pom-pom-pom.” But astonishingly, after the five days, the area of their brain had also massively grown, compared to both sides. The brain cell, it couldn’t actually distinguish between who had actually played the notes and who had done the note-playing in their own imagination.”
    5. The Gratitude Game – This is great fun to play at dinner times and encourages social interaction at the dinner table (instead of squabbling and other unwelcomed distractions).

At my workshops, we paint gratitude stones and they go down a treat.  So much fun and when you are being creative, you are in a kind of meditative zone anyway.  You can see our handy work on my Facebook page.

‘The vacation we often need is freedom from our own mind. Appropriately curtailing our obsessive thought patterns is our plane ticket to the pristine beach, the vibrant jungle, of our deeper hearts.’  ~ Jack Adam Weber

If you have any other ideas of how you can incorporate mindfulness into your lives, please share with us here in the comments section below.

 

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