Combining mindfulness with fitness and coordination training is a powerful way to help a child with a fearful/anxious temperament overcome fear related avoidance and defensive behaviors (meltdowns, tantrums, hyperactivity), improve attention skills and promote fitness and coordination at the same time.
What is mindfulness training?
Mindfulness is a deceptively simple idea: it is the ability to pay full attention to the present moment and the capacity to respond to events in a thoughtful manner rather than reacting in an automatic and thoughtless way.
The capacity for mindfulness allows us to use attention skillfully to regulate our immediate emotional responses to all the different inputs that bombard or senses: body sensations (discomfort, touch, pain, changes in heart beating and breathing), sounds and sights, thoughts and feelings.
Mindfulness activities help children to learn that they can control their bodies and can experience periods of calmness when they choose to. Regular mindfulness practice also changes the way the brain works - it literally calms the fear brain so that it is less reactive to sensory inputs.
The capacity for mindfulness can be trained in many different ways:
Sitting practice involves sitting still and paying attention to an aspect of present experience, such as sensations that go with breathing, sensations that arise from different parts of the body, sounds in the environment or just noticing the way in which thoughts arise in the mind.
In mindful movement practice attention is paid to the sensations that arise from doing slow and deliberate movements. Tai Chi and yoga are forms of mindful movement.
Mindful eating practice encourages close attention to the actions involved in eating as well as the smell and taste of the food.
Daily routines mindfulness practice encourages taking time to be mindful during everyday routines by focusing attention on the sensations and thoughts that occur as we go about the many activities that are part of our daily lives, such as washing the hands, setting the table, taking out the garbage, taking a shower.
SfA Mindfulness Activities
The SfA Mindfulness activities are designed for young children from the age of four years. Try incorporating brief periods of practice in your everyday routines and at times when you and your child need to stop, take a breath and take charge of your behavior.
Access: Training Guide Club Members
Subscribe here Just $20 for a 12 month subscription
- Learning to sit quite still
- Sitting like a statue in a beautiful park
- Eating a block of chocolate very, very slowly
- Walking very slowly
- Washing hands in a mindful way