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Mindfulness as a family practice

When we hear the word mindfulness, we typically think of it as an activity that is done in solitude, as it is closely related to meditation. That is one way to do it, but there are certain mindful activities that two or more people can do together. Members of a family, for instance, can be mindful together!

There were those who believed that children won’t get it (mindfulness) because they wouldn’t be able to sit still, or because they wouldn’t understand what was happening. But now that more people are into the practice of mindfulness, more people are also teaching it to kids. In fact, there are many schools that have started to teach it to their students or incorporate it into their curriculum.

Oftentimes, those who are into the practice of mindfulness are looking for ways to share it with their loved ones so they, too, can experience the same clarity, peace, and happiness. There are practitioners who are intent on sharing because they are hoping that it could bring everyone closer, heal relationships, or create more moments of joy and peace for the family.

Benefits for families

Mindfulness is, quite simply, all about noticing what’s happening around us and inside of us, and accepting it with a certain kindness. Studies have shown that the practice of mindfulness can help children pay attention, get along with others, and manage difficult emotions, among many other benefits.

Families are too often caught up in the details of their day-to-day that the quality of their presence in each other’s lives has started to suffer. Busy schedules, along with digital devices and long commutes have contributed to a kind of disconnection that family members sometimes feel. There are those who feel like there isn’t enough time spent with each other, to bond or to strengthen relationships.

With mindfulness, we discover that we are able to live a more loving, more simple, and more connected life. As individuals, we become kinder and more forgiving (of ourselves and others), more tolerant and appreciative, more grateful and focused! Most of all, we are able to manage the stress of daily living, which can really make a big difference in the context of family life.

A caveat: For those families who have certain challenges that make it more difficult to practice mindfulness, it would be best to seek professional guidance before undertaking the practice.

For our next entry, we will be sharing specific mindfulness activities that family members can do together.

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