We're halfway through our mindfulness series, and I hope you've been able to start incorporating more awareness into your day to day life. Skills that you build on your own can then be taught to your child or adolescent, and our own personal awareness of our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors can help when we react to our kids.
Why we should practice mindfulness in front of our children:
Kids are great and modeling behaviors - even (/especially??) the ones we don't want them to model. So, when we work on ourselves, when we work on our anxiety management, or our awareness of our own anger, we can show our children how to deal with their own strong emotions.
Make it a conversation!
On top of modeling mindfulness practice, make sure to let your child or teen know about why you're integrating it to your life, and explore with them any changes to your behavior that you've noticed because of it. Ask them to check in with you about any changes they may notice when they practice as well.
Week 3: Mindful Breathing
This week, we want to practice another important foundational skill: breathing. Yes, yes, we all are breathing every day. But how often do we notice our breath?
For today's practice, I'd like you to start in that comfortable seated position from week 1. Notice how you breath normally. Notice if it feels shallow or deep. Notice if it feels nourishing as it travels through your body.
Now, I want you to deepen your breath. In through your nose for two counts... and out through your mouth for three counts. In two... and out one, two, three. Don't make your breath feel pressured or tense, just a nice easy in for one, two... out for one, two, three.
Continue this slow breathing in through your nose, out through your mouth. Place one hand on your heart, and one hand on your belly. As you continue to breath in for two... out for one, two three, bring awareness to how that breath travels in through your nose, down your lungs, to your belly. As you breathe out for one, two, three... notice that air traveling back from your belly, your lungs, out your mouth.
Stay with this deep breathing for a few more counts.
And the return to your normal, easy breath.
If you'd like to know more about how mindfulness can help with anxiety and anger management, you may contact Kelsey at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.