Serenity and joy in 4-6 y/o children . Cultivating mindfulness

Mindfulness and meditation began as aspects of various religions, but are now used more broadly because of the evidence that focused breathing and meditation can ease physical and emotional stress.  Mindfulness is not just sitting still and closing your eyes, as this is not relaxing for some people, but rather it is a way to train our attention and clear our thoughts.  This is training our minds to be quiet and stay in the present moment as well as training our bodies to be aware of the sensations going on around us.  A focused mind is a happy mind, so it is important for people young and old to learn to be mindful.

Children have less attachment to memories of trauma early in their lives, so it is important for us to teach them specific practices of mindfulness such as breathing, to give them the tools to cope with their emotions and external stimuli as they get older.  Breathing is the first thing we receive after birth and it is the last thing we lose before death, and though we usually don’t even realize that we are breathing, it is a tool that we can use to our advantage throughout our lives.

As part of your children’s bedtime routine, have them lay on their backs and put a stuffed animal on their bellies and then practice focused breathing by having them “take the stuffed animal for a ride” as their bellies go up and down as they breathe. Another good way to teach children mindfulness is using books such as “Moody Cow Meditates” or “Spinning Inward.”

I also recommend that you look into the work of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts, Dr. Susan Kaiser’s video about how our anxious minds are like a shaken snow globe, and Dr. Nazanin Moali’s Sexology podcast.

To connect with Psic. Lourdes A. Gomez Paz

Books recommended:

Moody Cow Meditates by Kerry Lee MacLean

Susan Kaiser’s video

Spinning Inward: Using Guided Imagery with Children for Learning, Creativity & Relaxation by Maureen Murdock

Connect with Dr. Carmen Román:
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Podcast recommended by Dr. Roman

Sexology hosted by Dr. Nazanin Moali

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