By Elyssa Yeh, MA, R-DMT
Mindfulness is a hot buzzword that we hear frequently these days. When we think of mindfulness we often think of yoga and meditation, which are great ways to achieve mindfulness. But, what does it mean and how can you achieve it with your family?
At The Groove, we define mindfulness as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present-moment, while calmly and nonjudgmentally acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
We integrate the use of movement and dance into our activities because dance and movement can enhance the practice of mindfulness while making this abstract concept more accessible for young children. We have witnessed how dance and movement enables children to connect to their feelings, thoughts, and sensations in their bodies while also having the freedom to move, dance, express, and create!
You can learn more about The Groove sign up for our waitlist at www.movementthatmatters.co.
In the meantime, I would love to share some tips and downloadable apps that I have found useful to facilitate mindfulness practice for myself and in my work with children and families.
· Here are 15 Mindfulness and Relaxation Apps for Kids with Anxiety put together by Parenting Chaos. It addresses coping with anxiety, which is an emotion that affects many of us. And, it can be especially challenging for children with special needs. However, with the assistance and convenience of technology, there are lots of apps out there that can be utilized to aid in coping with anxiety.
· Positive Psychology Program has specifically designed a plethora of tips, activities, and apps for children, as well, that span child development in Mindfulness Activities for Children and Teens: 25 Fun Exercises For Kids
· Of course, I cannot forget you, the parent and grown-up. The greatest way to instill the value and practice of mindfulness in your kiddos is by modeling it as a value and practice for yourself! Angela Bekkala compiled The Best meditation Apps for Parents, and these apps are truly great to engage in self-care (yeah, the other hot buzzword these days!) and teaching moments with your family.
· Finally, here are some Mindfulness & Meditation Exercises with activities that you or you child can practice on your own or engage in together. Mindful Families has also shared a few mindfulness words of wisdom for kindful parenting and mindful parenting.
In the comments, let your fellow Groove Families know - what are your favorite mindfulness practices? When are they most useful for your family?
And next week, we’ll keep the conversation going about mindful movement and dance in our interview with Founder and CEO of Chicago Dance Therapy, licensed professional clinical counselor and board certified dance/movement therapist, Erica Hornthal, MA, LCPC, BC-DMT.