How mindfulness can support you and your family
The uncertainty of Coronavirus is challenging for everybody. New situations and increased pressures on families are worrying and can cause us to panic.
It is important to use coping strategies to support difficult times and promote positive mental health.
Mindfulness is a strategy used in Ambitious about Autism’s schools and college to support pupils and parents. Here, we explain the benefits of mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a simple technique. It is the ability to pay attention to what’s happening in there and then and understand how it is making you feel. It is being present in the moment.
Mindfulness practice has been scientifically proven to help reduce activity in the amygdala, the brain’s emotional centre that is responsible for fear and stress reactions.
Mental health and happiness are significantly shaped by what we do with our attention. Feeling stressed can distract us from being in the moment, we are unaware and unavailable to focus on making good decisions. Mindfulness brings the attention back and make space for making good decisions which increases positive wellbeing.
The benefits of mindfulness
There are lots of benefits to mindfulness for people of all ages. In the field of neuroscience, Mindfulness has been shown to improve both brain function and overall wellbeing. It can especially help support the following:
Attention: It strengthens our ability to refocus our mind to what is around us, an activity or a task.
Emotional regulation: Recognising our emotions helps us recognise when and why they happen. It’s important to acknowledge them, feel them fully and then choose how we respond to them.
Compassion: Awareness of our own thoughts and feelings supports us in understanding what other people are experiencing.
Calming : Mindful practices, like breathing strategies, help to relax the body and mind.
Mindfulness practices to help your family
A mindful practice is where you are fully engaged in an experience, being aware of your emotions in an accepting and non-judgemental manner.
We know that children and young people who practice mindfulness learn to better understand and manage their emotions. Supporting your family in mindfulness can improve the quality of their lives. Here are some ways to do this:
- Our recommended breathing strategies means you can be mindful for as little or as long as you have time for.
- Mindful colouring books are a fun activity that you can do with your child.
- Smelling your favourite scents with your eyes closed can transport you somewhere else.
- Taking some time to enjoy silent reading in a quiet space can help you refocus your attention on something you enjoy.
Our recommended breathing strategies can support mindfulness.
Watch this video to see why mindfulness is a superpower.
Watch this video to see how you can do a 5-minute meditation from anywhere.