Life is constantly pulling us and our thoughts in a thousand different directions. As adults, we often worry about the future or the past, usually without even realizing it. We are constantly analyzing or being swept up in the emotions of the “could have/should have/what if?” When we are focused on the future or the past; feelings of anxiety, depression, separation and loneliness can increase, while our connection to the present fades away. This is why practicing mindfulness can serve to mercifully save us – from ourselves.
What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness is the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis. Mindfulness can reduce stress, increase focus, regulate emotions and more.
When we are analyzing how we could have done something better or thinking about our to-do list for tomorrow, it can feel impossible to be in a state of mindfulness. The more we practice, the easier it gets, and it is never too late or too early to start.
Here are a few ideas of things to ask yourself and those that you walk through life with, including your littlest ones to support the practice of mindfulness as a family.
Questions to ask at the breakfast and/or dinner table:
“What does your body feel as you sit in your chair?”
“What scents do you smell?”
“What flavors do you taste?”
“What sound do you hear when you cut your food?”
“What do you see as you look around the room?”
Questions to ask when riding in the car:
“What do you see out the window to your right? To your left?”
“What do you hear?”
“What does it smell like in the car?”
Roll the window down and ask, “what does it smell like outside?” “What does the air feel like on your skin?”
“What does your body feel when the car is moving? When it’s stopped?”
Questions to ask during a bedtime routine:
“What does your toothpaste taste like?”
“What do your pajamas smell like?”
“What does your bed feel like?”
“What sounds do your blankets make when you roll around in them?”
“What was your favorite part of today?”
Why does mindfulness matter for kids? It is never too early to teach little ones about healthy habits. It allows them to explore being in the moment. For the younger children, asking these simple questions can also serve to help de-escalate a situation. If your child is having a difficult time in the car or settling before bed, asking the above questions can create an opportunity to be present, focus and help calm them.
The Yeti Board Book was created to foster mindfulness in our children. Yeti’s story is meant to be a tool to bring adults and children together into the present moment. When you read Yeti’s Board Book to your child while they listen and cuddle their accompanying Slumberkin Yeti from our Mindfulness Collection, it allows your little one space to fully tune into their senses. Time suspends, and there is no past or future. Doing this together creates a special moment of bonding and presence for you and your child not to mention the memories you will create from your little’s unique, creative answers to the mindfulness questions. Treasure this. Let your thoughts lose their power, and just be.