6 Weeks to Mindfulness: Week 1

What is mindfulness, and we do we practice it?

Mindfulness is an increased awareness of your surroundings, and a sense of stillness emotionally, cognitively, and physically. Mindfulness is great for anxiety, anger management, or other emotional needs because it helps us to take a step back and reset. 

How to treat anxiety with mindfulness:

As a clinical therapist specializing in anxiety and anger management for kids and teens, I incorporate a lot of minfdulness practice into, well, my practice. I am passionate about teaching kids and teens to find a calm center within themselves, becuase I know how impactful it is to be able to stop and think, instead of letting emotions take over. And, if we only practice these emotional regulation skills when we're already upset, we won't be very effective.

Day 1: Find a still seat.

So, today, let's practice just sitting.

Seems pretty easy, doesn't it? But let's try sitting without any other distractions. 

If you're practicing with your child or adolescent, I want you to find a nice calm spot, and if it's a nice day out, I'd like you to find this spot outside. Set a timer for five minutes. Sit in a comfortable position, crossing your legs if this feels ok with your body.

Breathe in and out, and just notice what's around you. What you see, smell, touch, and hear. 

If you notice that you want to get up or move, just let that thought gently float past you. It is ok to feel this way! That's why we practice. 

So, until your timer goes off, just sit. Feel still. Feel your sits bones sinking into the floor or ground beneath you. Notice your muscles feeling heavy and calm. 

Sitting is the simple yet important foundation for beginning your mindfulness practice. If you'd like, try this mindful sitting excerice a few times this week. We'll build on this skill during our next blog!

If you'd like to know more about how mindfulness can help with anxiety and anger management, you may contact Kelsey at compassionatecounselingstl@gmail.com to set up a free 15-minute phone consultation. Kelsey is a licensed clinical social worker in the St. Louis area. Her practice, Compassionate Counseling St. Louis, is located in Webster Groves, Missouri.