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Mindfulness Practice for Families

Rebecca Berke, BCH, shares advice on practicing mindfulness for families.

Mindfulness means paying attention in the present moment, in a particular way …. being in the here and now. It is usually practiced first with taking a few relaxing breaths or even just one and then noticing the breath… the intake and the release with the exhale. Here are some easy, quick and assessable practices to do with someone or individually.  No rules, no judgment, no right or wrong way, just experience and have fun!

Be in Your Body

Tense & Release

Slowly tense and release all of your muscles from your head down to your toes. Notice what happens…..

Stand Up, Sit Down, Take a Walk

Pay attention to what moves in the body first, second, third…with each movement. Just notice!

What moves first as you sit in a chair, what happens first when you stand up from the chair…which foot do you lead with as you walk?

Walk outside or inside and notice what part of your foot comes down first, how do your feet inside your shoes or the softness or hardness of the surface you are walking on? What do your arms do?

Conduct a System Check

Right now, are you feeling…..

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely or
  • Tired?

If so, what could you do about it? What do you choose….. if anything?

Use Your Five Senses

Sensations Within

Notice five sensations in your body right now. (hungry, calm, okay, tense, full, curious, bored, etc.). Count them on your fingers.

Eat or Drink Like It Is the First Time

Pretend you just dropped in from Mars and you have never seen, tasted, smelled, heard or felt food or drink before.

  • Notice as you take each bite or each sip how it feels, sounds, smells, tastes, and looks.
  • What happens in your body with each bite or sip
  • How does your body feel when the bite or sip is complete
  • What thoughts do you have as you begin, during and upon completion about that bite or sip
  • Share your observations

One Track Mind

Play one of your favorite songs.

  • Pick one instrument or sample track to focus on, and
  • Listen to just that one instrument through the entire song.

Drum, Dance, Sing, March, or Draw

Do it by yourself or in a group BUT… drop any rules about how to do it! Just do! Pay attention to how it feels in your body.

Awareness of the Big Picture

Gratitude Mantra

Bring to mind something you are grateful for. Silently repeat this while holding the image in your mind.

I Am Aware

One or more participants share back and forth of what they are aware of at that moment. Notice how much you can be aware of what is present.

Focus on an Object or Spot

Bring your attention to any focus, keeping head and eyes in the same place, soften your vision, and use your peripheral vision to see the wider/bigger picture… even pretending you can see behind you! Notice what happens in your mind and in your body.

Picture a Favorite Place (Real or Imagined)

Describe it, notice details, make it just how you would like it to be. Note how you are there in THIS MOMENT!

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