Mindfulness is learning to pay attention in the present moment. In addition, mindfulness in the family increases joy, happiness and calmness. Creating mindfulness stops your mind from racing like a runaway train. With mindfulness in the family we can find ourselves being “swept away” by the current of our thoughts, feelings, worries, fears, stresses.
Why Should I Create Mindfulness In the Family?
Mindfulness teaches you to “unplug” from your busy-ness and be present, or how to “wake up” to your magnificent life. Learning how to develop awareness in your life. Mindfulness also asks us to return to nature. Our children are not spending much time in nature anymore. A recent study shows our children only spend 7 minutes a day outside. Children are naturally scientists and conservationists.
Mindful Living Improves Every Facet of Your Family’s Life
The themes that rule our lives today are, “I just don’t have time” and “I’m exhausted.” We are overbooked, overworked and overwhelmed. Just getting done what must be done fills our days. The notion of finding precious time to learn how to create balance and to reduce our stress, to soothe our aching souls seems simply out of the question.
The demands of our time never seem to end. Our jobs need us, our children need us, and, increasingly, our aging parents need us. We don’t get enough sleep, we eat too many meals on the run, we take too many pills and we don’t spend enough time with our children and the people we love.
The Current Challenges Our Children Face
Our children are overly stressed. Families, and especially our children, are experiencing incredible levels of stress these days. The research on children and stress shows with the increase in violence, divorce, blended and single parent families, new technology and stress related health problems, our families, the nucleus of a child’s life, must address the problem of stress in our children’s lives.
Our children’s stress level has a direct affect upon the learning process and academic performance. Childhood stress leads to adult stress patterns as we mature into adulthood.
The Symptoms of Stress
- Neck, back pain
- GI problems: upset stomach, cramps, gas, diarrhea, constipation
- Sleep disturbances
- Asthma or shortness of breath
- Weight gain or loss
- Skin problems
- Immune system suppressed: more flu, colds, infections
- Inhibits growth
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Depression or moodiness
- Memory problems
- Lack of concentration, can’t think clearly
- Anger, tantrums
- Increase in arguments
- Withdrawal from family, friends
- Anger and tantrums
- Quite and no responsiveness
Two decades of research show that when you learn mindfulness based stress reduction tools you create resilience to stress.
- Optimism. You have a more positive outlook on life.
- Happiness. You experience greater levels of happiness and meaning.
- Energy level. You experience more energy and enthusiasm for life
- Resilience. You cope better with the stressful situations of life
- Pain. You reduce your experience of you pain levels.
- Immune system. You get an immune boost
Mindfulness Research Shows
- Reduces stress. Children learning mindfulness tools can reduce stress and lessen pain. Rozman and Pediatric Nursing Journal, 2002, reports,
- Decreases anxiety and helps self esteem. Mindful practices have shown to decrease anxiety and increase self esteem. (Kabat Zinn etall 1992)
- Decreases physical pain. Mindfulness has been shown to decrease physical pain in those with chronic pain, (Kabat-Zinn)
- Boots your immune system. Mindfulness practices increase your immune system, give you an immune boost. (Kabat-Zinn et al 1998)
Benefits of a Mindful Family
- Better physical and mental health of your family.
- Better resistance to stress.
- Better communication skills.
- More peaceful and relaxed family life
- More social support; compassion, listening and awareness for family members
- More intimacy and stronger social connection in the family.