Mindfulness can be described very simply “as being in the present moment”. The ability to focus attention and concentration on one activity sounds simple but is not always so. Modern life can be very busy and time pressured. Our lives are full of technology-phones, I Pads, internet. This technology can be helpful, but it can also distract our brain from enjoying and appreciating the calm that can come from focusing on a single activity.

Children thrive on simple activities-a play in the park, helping with gardening or learning to hand wash dishes. Sometimes young brains can become overwhelmed by exposure to electronic devices, which can activate the part of the brain involved in generating stress responses (amygdyla) and potentially hamper the development of frontal lobe or executive functioning.

For children with social communication difficulties and attention and concentration difficulties, training in mindfulness activities can often be very helpful. Similarly such activities can assist with childhood anxiety. They are also useful skills for all children facing our busy modern world.

A mindful activity can be walking in the park. It can be closing your eyes and listening to birds. It can be performing yoga or a five minute meditation. A graded muscle relaxation can be a mindful exercise.

Practising these activities with your children can help develop family rhythms and enhance relationships. Try it today, for just five minutes with your child......

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