Mindfulness for Parents of Young School-aged Children II

Mindful Family

by Cherrie Lo


Mindful father

In Canada, children enter elementary school at the age 5 or 6, where they may start to learn independence and gain responsibilities (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2015). During this time, some children may find friendship more important than relationships with their parents, and spend more time on social activities (Stanford Children’s Health, n.d.). Social experiences from outside the family may change the family dynamic, as well as the parent-child relationship. Through practicing mindfulness, parents of young, school-aged children can learn to be “present” in their parenting – giving their full attention to their children, and recognizing both challenging and rewarding moments (Marlowe, n.d.). Mindfulness is defined as “the ability to be fully present and attentive in the moment” (Sheridan, 2016, p. 29). Mindfulness is not just a spiritual tradition, it is scientifically proven to reduce stress, burnout, and anxiety. In this blog, a couple of mindfulness exercises are described for parents to try and experiment with.

Mindful parent

Exercise 1: Daily Mindfulness

While parents may find young school-aged children spending less time with them, there are different mindfulness exercises which allow parents and children to spend time together and bring awareness to the present moment. One mindfulness exercise is “being present with your child” (Marlowe, n.d.). This requires parents to choose a daily interaction with their child and be fully mindful during the entire interaction. For young school-aged children, daily interactions can include walking to school, playing table games, playing oral spelling games and preparing simple meals (Perry et al., 2017). It is important for parents to focus less on other thoughts such as work and chores, and fully participate and be mindful during the daily interaction (Marlowe, n.d.). If the parents’ thoughts start to wander, they should try to let those thoughts be, then reconnect to the present again.

Mindful with children

Here are a few questions parents can reflect on in order to recognize the importance of being mindful in daily interaction with their children (Marlowe, n.d.):

  1. How do the daily interactions with your child differ when you are being mindful? For example, do you enjoy the walking your child to school more?
  2. What do you tend to think about when you lose focus while trying to be mindful during daily interactions with your child? What are some ways you can keep from being distracted?
  3. How does being mindful during the daily interaction benefit your relationship with your child?
  4. Could you list at least one way to become more mindful during the daily interaction with your child?

Repetitive interactions like walking to school may become a daily routine or task for parents. However, these experiences compose an important part of their relationship with their children. Parents should practice being present with their children to “experience these little moments as precious moments” (Marlowe, n.d.).

Exercise 2: Mindful of the Good Times

Mindful father

As young children gain independence, they may start to reject the parents’ ideas or companionship (Perry et al., 2017). For example, children at 6 years old may start to have strong food preferences and refuse certain food items, and children at the age of 7 may spend more time with peers instead of with family. Some parents may experience rejections from their children and feel hurt.

One mindfulness exercise is “reflecting on positive moments with our children” (Marlowe, n.d.). Instead of thinking about the moments where they were rejected by their children, parents can focus on the happy and positive experiences with the children. For example, the joyful conversation while walking the children to school and while preparing meals, or some funny moments while playing table games and oral spelling games with the children. Parents of young school-aged children can take five minutes and reflect at the end of each day (Marlowe, n.d.). For parents who have been through a rough day, they can try setting an alarm before bedtime reminding themselves to spend five to ten minutes on thinking about a joyful moment or two with their children. If parents have trouble thinking of a positive moment, they could think of things that they appreciate about their children instead,

Exercise 3: Mindful Yoga

Taking care of a young school-aged child, such as meal prepping and studying with the child is time consuming and hard work for parents. Parents can practice yoga to bring a peace of mind to themselves at the end of the day, or to provide a morning burst of energy at the beginning of the day. Yoga is a mindfulness practice to help bring awareness into the present by focusing on the bodily sensations (Woodyard, 2011.). There are different types of yoga such as hatha, vinyasa, and yin, and each involves different movements and dynamics. I particularly like the smoothness of vinyasa yoga, also called vinyasa flow, where yoga poses are connected to each other like dancing. Vinyasa yoga is a moving meditation that does not only benefit mental health, but can also improve physical health (Cespedes, 2018). Some studies have found that vinyasa yoga can improve sleep, reduce stress, strengthen muscles and reduce excess weight.

Mindful Yoga

Vinyasa yoga often starts with breathing regulation, such as Ujjayi Pranayama, an ocean sounding breathing through the nose which is demonstrated in the video below. The following is an example of a vinyasa flow which consists of three different yoga poses (Pizer, 2018): the Plank, Cobra, and Downward Facing Dog.

Plank Pose

Begin this routine by assuming the Plank Pose.

Plank Yoga Pose

Cobra Pose

From the plank pose, lower your knees and chest to the ground to achieve the cobra pose.

Cobra pose
Cobra pose

Downward Facing Dog

From the cobra pose, use the strength of your back to lift your body off the ground to achieve the Downward Facing Dog pose. Repeat step one to three for a vinyasa flow.

Downward Facing Do

These poses should be synchronized with deep, steady breathing. However, parents who are beginners at yoga may find it difficult to do so. Instead, they could start the regulated breathing whenever they find losing the breathing pattern.

Mindfulness Technique Video

Check out the mindfulness technique video on yoga breath regulation:

Video created by Cherrie Lo
2 mins, November 2018


Mindful family

The three mindfulness exercises allow parents of young school-aged children to be “present” during parenting moments. The first two exercises, “being present with your child” and “reflecting on positive moments with our children” improve parent-children bonding as well. A common advantage of these exercises is that they do not require any special location or venues, and can be practiced anywhere and at anytime. Moreover, parents can practice the first two exercises while carrying out their daily tasks with their children, which does not take any extra time out of an already full schedule. Before or after a busy day of work and after taking care of the children, parents can take 10 minutes to practice the third mindfulness exercise – yoga – or do the routine with them. Just a 10-minute session of meditation is found to be associated with lowered blood pressure and daily heart rate, and “reduced heart rate can be a sign of reduced stress” (Cespedes, 2017).

Mindful Parenting Resources

Parent Support Services Society of BC

The Parent Support Services Society of BC, a provincial charitable organization, aims to promote wellbeing of both children and parents, as well as to “build support, advocacy, education, research, and resources” in their communities. One support service which can be beneficial for parents of young school-aged children is “parenting education”. This includes workshops and events that provide information to address problems in relationships, finances, child-rearing among parents. For example, there are workshops which educate parents about Registered Educations Saving Plan and when, why and how to talk to the children about sexual health.

URL: https://www.parentsupportbc.ca/

The BC Association of Family Resource Programs

The BC Association of Family Resource Programs (FRP-BC) supports healthy family development through family-centred programs. The five core service areas of FRP-BC are “family support, play-based learning, early learning and literacy, parent education and, information and referrals”. It collaborates with community-based centres to provide services and resources. For instance, FRP-BC houses the Abbotsford Family Centre – The Parenting Place, providing services such as the “Father Involvement Program” and “Young Parent Program”. These parenting-programs are usually for parents of children up to six years old.

URL: http://www.frpbc.ca/

Spirit of the Children Society

The Spirit of the Children Society is an Indigenous non-profit organization that supports and provides resources to families in Burnaby, New Westminster, and Tri-Cities. The unique cultural values and beliefs in Indigenous children and parents are considered in this organization, providing safe and respectful environment for the service users. Parents of young school-aged children can benefit from programs and services such as the “Aboriginal Family Housing Support”, “Family Strengthening Program” and “Traditional Aboriginal Parents Program (TAPP)”. For instance, TAPP applies the Medicine Wheel in teachings to encourage personal healing in parents over a course of 11 weeks. These teachings include stress management, child development, and discipline.

URL: https://www.sotcs.ca/programsservices/traditional-aboriginal-parents-program-tapp/

Smiling Mind APP

The Smiling Mind is an app developed by psychologists and educators to promote mindfulness in both parents and children. It sets daily meditation reminders for the user, and provides guided meditation and mindfulness techniques. An example of guided meditation is “body scan”, guiding the users through audio to be aware of bodily sensations, and to relieve tension. The APP features a “10 minutes a day is all you need” to see the benefits in improving mental health. Moreover, all guided meditation and mindfulness are tailored to the specific population, such as parents and children.

URL: https://www.smilingmind.com.au/smiling-mind-app

Raising Children Network

The Raising Children Network is a parenting website, supported by the Australian Government, which provides information on the growth and development of children at different stages. This specific URL from Raising Children Network focuses on children of five to six years old. It breaks down child development into different categories such as playing and learning, feelings and thinking, allowing parents to help their child to grow healthy according to the developmental stages. In addition, the website educates parents about when to be concerned about the child’s development at this age period. Throughout the webpage, there are underlined phrases that prompts readers to click on for further details. For example, parents can click on “looking after yourself” in the “parenting a school-age child” section for tips to balance personal life.

URL: https://raisingchildren.net.au/school-age/development/development-tracker/5-6-years


American Academy of Pediatrics. (2015). Parenting School-Age Children. Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/family-dynamics/Pages/Parenting-School-Age-Children.aspx

Cespedes, A. (2017). Meditation and Heart Rate. Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/ article/249472-meditation-and-heart-rate/?ajax=1&is=1

Cespedes, A. (2018). What Are the Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga? Retrieved from https://www. livestrong.com/article/332693-what-are-the-benefits-of-vinyasa-yoga/

Marlowe, S. (n.d.). Mindful Parenting. Mindful Families. Retrieved from http://www.mindfulfamilies.ca/ index.php/mindful-families/mindful-parenting/mindful-parenting-home

Perry, S. E., Hockenberry, M. J., Lowdermilk, D. L., Wilson, D., Keenan-Lindsay, L., & Sams, C. A. (2017). Maternal Child Nursing Care in Canada (2nd ed.). Toronto, ON: Elsevier Canada.

Saoji, A. A., Raghavendra, B., & Manjunath, N. (2018). Effects of yogic breath regulation: A narrative review of scientific evidence. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. doi:10.1016/j.jaim.2017.07.008

Sheridan, C. (2016). The mindful nurse: using the power of mindfulness and compassion to help you thrive in your work (1st ed.). Lexington, KY: Rivertime Press.

Stanford Children’s Health. (n.d.). The Growing Child: School-Age (6 to 12 Years). Retrieved from https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=the-growing-child-school-age-6-to-12-years-90-P02278

Pizer, A. (2018). Introduction to Vinyasa Flow Yoga. Retrieved from https://www.verywellfit. com/introduction-to-vinyasa-flow-yoga-4143120

Woodyard, C. (2011). Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life. International journal of yoga, 4(2), 49-54.

Mindfulness for Young School-aged Children

Mindful child

By MacLean Myers and Michelle MacMaster

When we teach mindfulness to children, we share with them ways to cope with life’s challenging moments. The earlier we do this, the better the opportunity to help them demonstrate resilience as they grow.

In a world of rapid change, young children have to navigate a variety of unique social and emotional challenges (Calm Schools Initiative, 2016). As much as parents feel the worry involved with making the best choices for their child, exposure to often violent and negative media, and a general sense of feeling rushed, developing minds are all the more sensitive to potential stressors. Young children are learning how to manage all of their emotions and figuring out how to make important choices. They are learning how to show kindness to themselves and others, all while adjusting with going to school, making new friends, and learning new skills. Incorporating and developing what is known as mindfulness can give kids the tools to help them along their path (Verde, 2017).


Mindfulness is not a new concept, and it is experienced by us all on a daily basis. For example, when we take a deep breath to calm ourselves, when we slowly savour our food and appreciate its complex tastes. When we walk along a beach and feel the sand between our toes, or when we truly try to listen to what some else is telling use, we are being mindful. However, what if we tried to practice these skills? What if our children developed these habits at an early age?


Mindfulness is being fully present and attentive in the moment, when we are aware of our current experiences, and choose to focus on what we feel, see, hear, and think (Sheridan, 2016). By purposefully giving our attention to the here and now, we can hold back on our common feelings of worry and judgment. There is a growing amount of scientific evidence the shows the positive effects that mindfulness can have on the brain and body, especially in young children. Research has demonstrated that mindfulness practice positively helps kids control their emotions, make decisions, and be empathetic towards others (Calm Schools Initiative, 2016). Learning mindfulness exercises can not only improve a child’s attention, but it also helps to separate their thoughts and feelings from themselves (Verde, 2017). This ability can be essential in helping a child to choose their responses rather than simply react.

Mindful Child

It is wonderful to think of a world where children can better understand themselves and grow up with improved kindness and compassion. By learning to pause and find calm, through mindfulness teachings, kids can develop a lifelong appreciation for self-awareness, patience, and resilience (Calm Schools Initiative, 2016).


So, when is the right time to practice mindfulness? You can practice mindfulness anytime however if you want to have a schedule, you can practice mindfulness:

  • Before getting out of bed
  • Before class starts
  • After lunch
  • Before class ends
  • Before going to bed
Mindful Kids

Remember for ages 5-7, keep it simple! Beach (2017) suggested that mindfulness is noticing our thoughts, what our body feels like, what our ears are hearing, and anything else that is around us and happening right now.

What kind of mindfulness activities are there to practice? There are many mindfulness activities you can practice. Find something that you like!

Mindful child
  • Meditation – great for calming your feelings, focus on feelings the ‘here and now’ (Burnett, 2018).
  • Yoga – helps you stretch your body, rest your mind and focus on breathing (Burnett, 2018).
  • Deep breathing – focus on caring, feeling, connecting and meltdown.
  • Body Scanning – focus on relieving tension and stress, can do this before sleeping.
  • Mindful walk – this can be done anytime, while you are walking with your child, try to remind them to take deep breathes and feel the air entering through their nose, ask them what they smell and pay attention to the path they are walking on.
Mindful school




Spidey Senses is a fun mindfulness exercise that caters to young children.

  • Tools – a poster of the 5 senses
The five senses
  • Method – ask your child to switch senses up to a superpower level just like Spiderman. They can stay in this state for 2-3 minutes. Ask them the following (Cassie, 2018):

What can you hear?
What can you see?
What can you taste?
What can you smell?
What can you feel?

To extend this exercise to children 7 years of age make it a 5 Sense countdown; this can be used to help calm a busy mind (Cassie, 2018). This activity takes about 5 minutes. Ask them to think of:

5 things you can see,
4 things you can touch,
3 things you can hear,
2 things you can smell and,
1 thing you can taste

(Cassie, 2018)
Happy children


Shark Fin is a fantastic activity that children can use to help them calm their minds and bodies even when they are not ready to do so (Cassie, 2018). This activity is about 5 minutes long and requires no tools or supplies.

Shark Fin

Method – Get the child to find a place to sit down or if they are standing ensure that they are in a safe area. Guide the child to:

  • Place their side of their hand on their forehead, with palm facing out to the side,
  • Ensure their eyes are close and guide them to:
  • Slide your hand down your face, in front of your nose,
  • Say “shhh” as you slide your hand down your face
  • Repeat this 5 times
  • If you are sitting down, you do the 5 S’s while you move your hand: Sit up straight, sit still, sit silently, soft breathing, shut eyes while doing this.
  • o If you are standing do the same but you are standing straight, still, silently, using soft breathing and shut eyes while you move your hand down your face (Cassie, 2018).
Mindful boys

These are two mindfulness activities that the child can do on their own or through guided help. The wonderful thing about these two activities is the child uses their own body and mind to help them calm down (Gerszberg, 2018). They can do the Spidey Senses and the Shark Fin mindfulness activity while they are in school or at home. Anytime they feel they are getting frustrated, sad, angry and silly, these activities help them to focus and pay attention to their own senses or feelings. The child can start with Shark Fin mindfulness when they feel they are easily distracted especially when they are in school. The Spidey Senses is great to incorporate with children showing signs of increasing inattentiveness.

Try Our Quick Guided Breathing Video

Video created by 
Michelle MacMaster and MacLean Myers
2 mins, November 2018

Mindful Child Resources

Common Sense Media

Provides lists of the various meditation apps children can use to help them be mindful, focus and calm. Parents will need to subscribe and pay for some of the apps to get access however there are some apps that are free.

URL: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/meditation-apps-for-kids

Cosmic Kids

Provides children and parents with tips and strategies of mindfulness activities they can initiate at home. Children can use their creativity using some of the things found at home such as a cereal box and mason jar. The website offers videos, blog and ideas and other resources also for meditations. No subscription required.

URL: https://www.cosmickids.com/mindfulness-activities-kids/

Kids’ Stuff World

Offers insightful awareness of the benefits of living life mindfully. This resource has 10 mindfulness exercises: children can practice with mindful smelling; breathing buddies; active listening and a gratitude habit. No subscription required.

URL: http://kidsstuffworld.com/2015/04/10-mindfulness-exercises-to-do-with-your-kids/


Offers meditation for kids. It highlights 5 themes for kids to pay attention to such as calm, focus, kindness, sleep and wake up. To access this resource the parent/child needs to sign up or subscribe (for free) to get the full benefits it offers.

URL: https://www.headspace.com/meditation/kids

Left Brain Buddha

Offers various tips and strategies for parents. For example, the mindful mantras for kids. The website has lessons and colouring sheets, calming phrases for children to use when they need to deal with their anger, nervousness, or frustration. No subscription needed as its free. The lessons plan and colouring sheets are easily downloadable and printable.

URL: https://leftbrainbuddha.com/mindful-mantras-for-kids/

I Am Peace- A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde

A wonderful addition to a series aimed at young readers that includes I Am Yoga and I Am Human, I Am Peace is a gentle and helpful tool for cultivating kid mindfulness. Beautifully illustrated, vignettes of the child grounding himself in the sand, feeding birds, and meditating beneath a magically sprouting tree help to reinforce the message of presence, self-awareness, and compassion. With an easily read narrative the key components of mindfulness are presented, encouraging children to breath, taste, smell, and be present to the here and now. Included in the end of the story is a practical guided meditation example that could easily be incorporated by parents.

URL: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34324424-i-am-peace

Calm app

The mission at Calm is to make the world a happier and healthier place, and their meditation and mindfulness app is consistently top rated in this category. The app blends an extensive library of guided mediation, daily calm activities, and sleep stories, with purposefully chosen music and images to promote relaxation and presence. What makes the use of this tool particularly appealing is its usability among any age group. Not only could the app help promote mindfulness habits in parents, but there are specific guides and activities geared towards young children. In fact, Calm feels so strongly about the incorporation of mindfulness at a young age, that they have developed The Calm Schools Initiative. They have a goal of providing free mindfulness training tools and app access to all teachers in the world, so even if parents do not want to pay for the app, they can promote the idea to their child’s teacher.

URL: https://www.calm.com/

Zenergy Chime and Hoberman’s Sphere

Although specific tools do not need to be purchased in order to effectively practice mindfulness, there are tools available that have received positive reviews for their ability to help promote mindfulness in young children.

Zenergy Chime- With a single tap of the mallet this crime produces powerful and resonating sound, allowing kids to redirect and focus their attention to their sense of the surrounding sound. The sounds lasts for an extended period, allowing time to take deep breaths, listen, relax, and refocus. Sounds like this are often used in meditation and mindfulness practice, and this tool provides a quick resource that can enhance mindful practice.

Hoberman’s Sphere– Not a new toy by any means, this expandable ball is gaining a resurgence as a popular mindfulness tool throughout classrooms. This geodesic dome can be expanded and folded in and can be used to provide a great visual component to breathing activities. Often referred to as the breath ball, it can mimic the movements of breathing through the sphere’s movements.

URL: https://www.amazon.ca/John-N-Hansen-Hoberman-Sphere-Rings/dp/B0000E6I1F/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543623830&sr=8-1&keywords=hoberman+sphere


Although initially designed to be incorporated into K-2 classroom curriculum, MindUp has also created brain focused strategies and mindful learning to be engaged with at home. The program has a variety of lessons with well explained activities that are easy to use by parents helping to improve resiliency in children and promote healthy dialogue among family members. Strategies are well backed by current research and it gives parents the tools that it takes to help raise children with compassion, the ability to self-regulate, and foster a positive mind set in life.

URL: https://mindup.org/

Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

The resources above are mainly directed for parents to support their kids on the journey to improved mindfulness. However, helping your child in this process can only be improved with a richer understanding of mindfulness yourself. There are no shortage of effective writings on the topic, but this one by Jon Kabat-Zinn provides a solid base for mapping out a simple path for developing mindfulness in one’s self.

URL: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14096.Wherever_You_Go_There_You_Are


Beach, S. R. (2017, June 28). 10 Ways to Teach Mindfulness to Kids. Retrieved November 29, 2018, from https://leftbrainbuddha.com/10-ways-teach-mindfulness-to-kids/

Burnett, C. (2018, July 26). Mindfulness for Kids: 9 Apps to Help Them Be Calm, Focused and Relaxed. Retrieved November 29, 2018, from https://childhood101.com/mindfulness-for-kids/

Calm (2016). Calm Schools Initiative [PDF file]. Retrieved from http://cdn.calm.com/documents/teachers-onboarding-manual.pdf

Cassie. (2018, April 30). Mindfulness for Children: 5 Minute Classroom Mindfulness Activities [Blog post]. Retrieved November 29, 2018, from https://www.teachstarter.com/blog/classroom-mindfulness-activities-for-children/

Gerszberg, C. O. (2018). The Future of Education: Mindful Classrooms. Retrieved November 29, 2018, from https://www.mindful.org/mindfulness-in-education/

Pixabay [Mindfulness Images]. (n.d.). Retrieved November 29, 2018 from https://pixabay.com/en/photos/meditation%20mindfulness/?

Sheridan, C. (2016). The Mindful Nurse: Using the Power of Mindfulness and Compassion to Help You Thrive in Your Work. Charleston, SC: Rivertime Press.

Verde, S. (2017). I Am Peace A Book of Mindfulness. New York, NY: Harry N Abrams.

Mindfulness for Parents of Older School-aged Children I

Mindful family

By Annie McLean

Mindful Parenting of Children Ages 8-11

Mindfulness is defined as the ability to be present in the moment. The practice of mindfulness involves paying attention to what is going on around you, as well as what is going on within you (Sheridan, 2016). Accepting your own thoughts, emotions, perceptions, and experiences as they come and go throughout your day is practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is purposeful and takes practice.


As a parent of a child aged 8-11, mindfulness probably does not come easily. You are involved in your child’s life and have a lot of responsibilities on your plate. Your child is physically active and developing his or her motor skills every day (Perry, Hockenberry, Lowdermilk & Wilson, 2017). Your child learns quickly at school, may enjoy reading and writing, and has preferences for stories and information about adventure, romance, science fiction, or fantasy. He or she knows how to understand time and dates, is able to classify objects, can do puzzles and understands that volumes of liquid are conserved, no matter which container the volume is poured into. Your child keeps you busy with being involved in household tasks, taking lessons, and is probably coming up with new ideas, games, and projects all the time.


Your child’s social skills are blossoming, and he or she may now be more self-critical than ever before (Perry et al., 2017). As a parent, you can practice mindfulness when your child is feeling poorly about him or herself and be careful not to let your own negative thoughts be verbalized, as they may come off as judgement towards your child (Sheridan, 2016). When listening to your child, accept your own thoughts and emotions as they come, and receive those thoughts, not trying to change them. You can teach your child to practice mindfulness in this scenario, and help them learn to accept their emotions, thoughts and experiences, even when they are unwanted. Together with your child, you can be present and aware of the moment, and not focused on what can be done to fix it or “move on” (Sheridan, 2016).

Mindful parenting

Mindful Presence

Mindful Presence

One exercise you can try with your child to help develop your mindfulness skills is to practice mindful presence (Sheridan, 2016). Similarly, to how you practice mindfulness when your child is feeling critical of him or herself, you can practice mindful presence in everyday activities. Choose an activity that you do with your child regularly, such as walking to school, doing homework with them, or putting them to bed (Marlowe, 2013). Focus on this experience with your child and attend to any feelings you have of being in a hurry, not forcing the feelings to go away, but realizing that they are there (Sheridan, 2016). Take a couple of deep breaths, and intentionally interact with your child (Marlowe, 2013). Picture this interaction like an opportunity for connection, instead of a routine task that is done every day. Notice when your mind wanders to other thoughts, such as tasks to get done that day, and gently bring your thoughts back to this interaction with your child (Sheridan, 2016).

Loving kindness

As your child is developing his or her identity during these years, he or she desires to be loved unconditionally, and looks to parents for affirmation (Perry et al., 2017). Your child understands rules and boundaries and wants to please his or her parent by doing the right thing. Although he or she may be spending more time with friends, and may sometimes push your boundaries, your child still yearns to be a part of your family and needs you to be a stable person in their life. By showing your child compassion, kindness and love, you can increase your own empathy for others, and promote a loving relationship between you and your child (Sheridan, 2016).

Loving-Kindness Meditation

Loving-Kindness Meditation

Loving-kindness meditation is a mindfulness practice that you can practice for yourself and for your child (Marlowe, 2013). To begin this exercise with yourself, picture your own self standing in front of you (Sheridan, 2016). Take a couple of deep breaths. Allow thoughts of well wishes to come into your mind, as if you are saying them to someone else. Tell your “self” that you wish them happiness, health, and peace, by saying or thinking these phrases: “May I be happy.” “May I be healthy.” “May I be at peace.” (Sheridan, 2016; Marlowe, 2013). You can use different phrases for different wishes that come to your mind (Sheridan, 2016). Do not worry if you find this exercise challenging but persevere and continue repeating these phrases through this exercise.

Loving-Kindness Meditation

To begin this exercise for your child, picture your child standing in front of you in a time where you felt connected to them and proud of them (Marlowe, 2013). Allow thoughts of well wishes for your child to flood your mind and think or say similar phrases to when you did this exercise for yourself: “May you be happy.” “May you be healthy.” “May you be at peace.” Accept any negative thoughts that come into your mind during this exercise and bring your thoughts back to the same loving-kindness phrases (Sheridan, 2016). You can further this exercise by picturing your child in front of you at a time when you were not as happy with them, such as when you felt disappointed, angry or sad with their behaviour (Marlowe, 2013). Repeat this process, and think or say the phrases again, picturing yourself being gentle and loving towards them, despite the conflict you may feel. You can also extend this exercise towards other people in your life that you may have conflict with, or do not know well (Sheridan, 2016). You may choose someone who serves you coffee every day, your child’s school-teacher, or a coworker. Loving-kindness meditation can be done every day to help you be gentle and kind with yourself, and help you sustain compassion for your child, especially through the stressful and challenging times.

View My Loving Kindness Meditation Video

Video created by Annie McLean
2:14 mins, November 2018
Made in Adobe Spark Video

Mindful Parent Resources

Foundation For A Mindful Society

Lotus Blue

This website helps parents understand what mindfulness is, how to practice it daily, and provides practical mindfulness exercises that parents can try. Audio recordings are given for parents to follow to carry out mindfulness and meditation exercises at home, and other resources including apps are listed. The magazine called “Mindful” can be subscribed to through this website. Parents can also read articles pertaining to mindfulness in regard to parenting, such as at the link: https://www.mindful.org/mindful-parenting-may-keep-kids-trouble/.

URL: https://www.mindful.org/

Mindful Families

Lotus Blue

This website provides education about mindfulness in relation to family. Parents can find helpful articles and read about other parents’ experiences using mindfulness here. Parents can search through resources, such as songs, stories and exercises to help their children learn mindfulness as well. If parents live in Toronto, they can also find workshops in their area through this website.

URL: http://www.mindfulfamilies.ca/

Mindspace Clinic

Lotus Blue

This clinic is located in Quebec (3 locations) and focuses on mindfulness as a basis for psychotherapy. The clinic provides various therapies led by psychologists and coaches that help people learn mindfulness. They also provide workshops, programs, professional training, and group classes that promote mindfulness in everyday life. Parents can find an interesting, helpful article through this website that relates mindfulness to life as a parent at the link: http://mindspaceclinic.com/11-tips-mindful-parenting/.

URL: https://www.mindspacewellbeing.com

Child Mind Institute Inc.

Lotus Blue

This website can help parents learn about various psychological problems and actual diagnoses that school aged children often face, such as anxiety, OCD, sensory processing disorder, depression, bipolar disorders, autism, and many more. Parents can learn about mindfulness and how it can help their children and themselves, through the “Mindfulness” area of the website, which can be found at the link: https://childmind.org/topics/concerns/mindfulness/. An article specific to parents themselves can be found at: https://childmind.org/article/mindful-parenting-2/.

URL: https://childmind.org

Parent Support Services of BC

Lotus Blue

This website is based in BC and includes resources such as workshops and seminars (some of them are free) that parents can attend all over BC. Parents can look up their particular region and find the resources local to them at this link: https://www.parentsupportbc.ca/in-your-region/. Parents can also sign up to receive a newsletter in their email with updates and interesting information about parenting.

URL: https://www.parentsupportbc.ca/parenting-education/


Marlowe, S. (2013). Mindful practices for parents. MindfulFamilies.ca. Retrieved from http://www.mindfulfamilies.ca/index.php/mindful-families/mindful-parenting/practices-for-mindful-parenting

Perry, S., Hockenberry, M., Lowdermilk, D. & Wilson, D. (2017). Maternal Child Nursing in Canada. 2nd edition. Toronto: Elsevier (Mosby).

Sheridan, C. (2016). The Mindful Nurse: Using the Power of Mindfulness and Compassion to Help You Thrive in Your Work. Charleston, SC: Rivertime Press. ISBN: 978-0-9933245-2-9.

Mindfulness for Parents of Older School-aged Children II

Mindful Family

By Gurneet Tatla

Older School-aged Children

What is Mindfulness?


Parenting is a wonderful mix of joy, worry, laughter, stress, play, frustration, chaos and everything in between (Marlowe, 2013). Mindfulness is a technique parents can use to detach themselves from the craziness of the outside world to focus on their feelings in the present moment (Sheridan, 2016). Creating moments of complete awareness can be a challenge for parents of older school aged children, aged 8 to 11 due to their biological, psychosocial, and cognitive growth and developmental changes (Perry, Hockenberry, Lowdermilk, & Wilson, 2013). Therefore, parents must pay attention to these factors because it influences their children’s health and well-being. Even though parenting children ages 8 to 11 can be challenging, it can also be hugely rewarding because parents can watch their children grow up and guide them through new experiences. Mindful parenting isn’t about being the “perfect parent” but being present in the parenting process, with all it’s ups and downs (Marlowe, 2013). Through mindfulness techniques such as meditation, breath awareness, body scan, and many more, parents can learn to be more present in their everyday lives (Marlowe, 2013; Sheridan, 2016). It can also enhance parents’ connection with their children (Marlowe, 2013). Mindfulness is something a parent can do on their own or with their family as a bonding experience.

About Children

Parents of school aged children aged 8 to 11 will always be faced with challenges. Oftentimes, children can be the source of a challenge. That’s why it’s important to understand their growth and developmental milestones to paint a vivid picture of their general strengths and limitations, and how they are likely to understand and relate to their world. Understanding biological, psychosocial, and cognitive milestones and achievements enables parents to adjust how they care for and support children to best prepare them to become successful and fulfilled in their lives (Perry et al., 2013).

About Children

Biological Development

  • Growth in height and weight begin slowly
  • Continue to build on and improve gross motor skills; the large-scale body movement skills such as walking and running that they first learned during earlier developmental stages
  • Physical maturation of systems begins to develop
  • 10-year old’s who look physically younger do not want to be treated as though they were younger; this can be a disservice to them
  • Beginning to develop competence and self esteem
  • Prepubescence begins in later school aged childhood years (Morelli & Dombeck, 2018; Perry et al., 2013)

Biological Development

Psychosocial Development

  • Make great strides in terms of their ability to recognize emotions in themselves and others, control their own emotions, and communicate about emotions, both expressively and with language
  • They gain satisfaction from exploring their environment and from interaction with peers
  • Develop a sense of industry (sense of accomplishment)
  • Want to develop skills and participate in meaningful and socially useful work
  • Are becoming useful, contributing members of their social communities
  • Reinforcement in the form of material rewards, privileges, and recognition provides encouragement and stimulation
  • Want adults to give them skills they can work at, learn from, and try to master (Morelli & Dombeck, 2018; Perry et al., 2013)
Psychosocial Development

Cognitive Development

Cognitive Development
  • “Concrete operations-” when school-aged children from ages 8 to 11 can use thought process to experience events and actions
  • Starting to develop a relationship between things and ideas
  • Beginning to develop classification skills and can group and sort objects
  • Beginning to develop and understand relational terms and concepts
  • Older school aged children (10-11) come to understand cause-and-effect relationships and become adept at mathematics and science
  • The capacity to explore and expand their knowledge is enhanced by reading and writing (Morelli & Dombeck, 2018; Perry et al., 2013)

Being a Mindful Parent

Parenting often provides daily challenging experiences. For example, everyone is buckled in the car and ready to go to school and one child states they need to go back inside to use the washroom. After driving for 3-5 minutes, another child points out they forgot their lunch at home. At this point, the parent is running late, and their anxiety level is increasing. Although in the big picture these events are minor, they still cause frustration. Practicing mindfulness exercises will help parents live in the present moment and remain peaceful and relaxed (Sheridan, 2016). It will help reduce anxiety levels and help enhance concentration (Marlowe, 2013).

Being a Mindful Parent

Here’s a mindfulness exercise guide for parents to develop the skills needed to handle stressful situations with older school-aged children, aged 8 to 11:

  • With your busy schedules and high stress jobs, it’s easy to lose sight of your children’s experience. Try to look at the world from the point of view of your child. Try to do this everyday and let go of your own point of view for a few minutes.

  • Listen carefully by focusing without distractions such as TV, social media, and phones. Be fully engaged as you listen to the stories your child shares with you.

  • Attempt to see your child as perfect just as they are. Accept them even when it’s difficult. At the end of the day, invite yourself to reflect on a positive moment that you had with your child. Even it has been a particularly challenging day, recall a pleasant moment that you had with your child or reflect on something that you appreciated about your child.

  • Focus on what your expectations are for your child and how you communicate those expectations. Do you have their best interest in mind?

  • Take a mindful walk. While paying attention to your breathing and the way the ground feels under your feet, observe your surroundings. Listen for sounds you typically overlook such as leaves rustling or a pine cone falling from a tree. Let stressful thoughts go and focus on the sights, smells and feelings in the present moment. Although nature is relaxing, a mindful walk can occur anywhere, even a busy street or mall.

Take a mindful walk

Focus on your Breathing

Find a comfortable and stable posture either sitting or lying on your back. Allow your back to be straight but not rigid. Let your arms and hands rest in a relaxed position. Close your eyes.

Just Breathe

Bring your attention to the present moment by noticing how you’re feeling physically. Scan your body from head to toe and consciously try to let any tension slip away. Take a moment to notice your environment – any sounds you might hear in the background, what the temperature feels like in the room.

Then, bring your attention to your breathing from three vantage points:

First, notice the sensation of your breath going in and out of your nostrils or mouth.

Second, as you breath, pay attention to the rise and fall of your chest.

Third, notice the rise and fall of your belly as you breath.

Pick the vantage point that seems to be the easiest for you to focus on. Follow the breath for its full duration, from start to finish. Notice that the breath happens on its own, without any conscious effort. Some breaths may be slow, some fast, some shallow or deep. You don’t need to control the breath, you just need to notice it.

(Marlowe, 2013; Mindfulness Exercises, 2018; Sheridan, 2016)

Note: Practice the skills when you are not in a stressful moment. It may seem difficult at first but with consistency and repetition, you will become skilled (Sheridan, 2016). Eventually you will find yourself automatically engaging in these mindful behaviours. You will find your parent-child relationship improves as your response to minor stressful situations become driven less by anxiety (Marlowe, 2013).

Mindfulness as a Family

Practicing mindfulness as a family gives older school-aged children, aged 8 to 11 a safe environment to express their emotions in a non-judgmental manner. This sharing creates an opportunity for parents and the children to be accountable for their behaviors. Mindfulness shows families how they can change their behaviors individually and as a family unit (Marlowe, 2013). It also helps enhance connections with one another.

Mindfulness as a Family

Family Friendly Mindfulness Exercises

Mindful Eating

Ask everyone to spend the first few minutes silently playing with the food in their mouth, noticing the varied sensations of taste, texture and temperature. It’s normal for the mind to wander. When you’ve realized the family has stopped focusing, simply remind everyone to be mindful of their food.

Silence periods

During enforced quiet periods, everyone does their regular routine in silence. Start with 5-10 minutes and work up to an hour or more. Other types of communication such as writing, signalling, and sign language should be discouraged. You will notice that the world is more vibrant because your other senses are heightened.


Turn down the lights, have your phones turned off, and have everyone sit on the floor for a few minutes. The most common type of meditation is focusing on the breath. Children ages 8 to 11 can focus on their breathing by pretending to smell a flower while breathing in and pretending to blow a leaf while breathing out.

(Marlowe, 2013; Sheridan, 2016)


Benefits of Mindfulness

Being a parent to older school aged children can be stressful. Decades of research have shown the mental health benefits of mindfulness and meditation. Since mental health has been linked to overall health status, practicing mindfulness can aid in maintaining immune function and improving a parent’s general well-being physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually (Goldstein & Goldstein, 2016). Moreover, mindfulness can help parents reduce anxiety and depression, increase body satisfaction, improve cognition, and help the brain reduce distractions to heighten complete awareness. Whether choosing to meditate or utilizing a different mindfulness path, taking time daily to focus on mindfulness is worth it because it allows a parent to be in tune with their feelings to better react to stressful moments with their child. Furthermore, practicing mindfulness as a family can enhance a parent’s connection with their children and vice versa.

Mindful family

Try My Mindfulness Technique Video

Please click on the link below for a 2-minute YouTube demonstration on how parents and their school aged-children can practice mindfulness individually and together as a family:

Video created by Gurneet Tatla
2 mins, November 2018

Mindful Parent Resources

Mindful Changes

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Mindful Changes is a blog created by Shahin Najak, a mother, certified Yoga instructor and Reiki practitioner, and a mindfulness teacher based in Vancouver BC. This resource allows individuals to stay in touch with her workshops and programs in Vancouver and across Canada. Mindful Changes is about sharing and teaching the practice of mindfulness with adults, parents, children, adolescents, and students and teachers within the education system. Shahin Najak’s mission is to inspire individuals to learn and practice mindfulness with tools and strategies that will help individuals to become more resilient to daily stressors. This resource offers mindfulness training and tools for individuals who want to live a more meaningful life.

URL: https://www.mindful-changes.com/

Mindful Families

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Mindful Families is a blog created by Sara Marlowe, a mother, author, and clinical social worker. She incorporates mindfulness into her work with children, teenagers, adults, parents and families. This resource provides tips on mindful parenting and how to be a mindful kid. It also offers techniques and exercises on how parents and their children can incorporate mindfulness into their everyday lives individually and together as a family. Sara Marlowe also offers links to her mindfulness books, programs, workshops and meditation videos for everyone of all ages.

URL: http://www.mindfulfamilies.ca/

Mindful: Healthy Mind, Healthy Life

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Mindful: Healthy Mind, Healthy Life is an online magazine subscription that inspires and connects individuals who want to explore mindfulness to enjoy better health, more loving relationships, and a compassionate society. A new mindfulness issue is published bi-monthly and offers personal stories, evidence-based research, and practical advice. The magazine also offers insights that speak to anyone from parents looking for guidance to better connect with their children to corporate managers exploring new ways to cultivate workplace engagement and fulfillment.

URL: https://www.mindful.org/

Settle Down, Pay Attention, Say Thank You: A How-To: Kristen Race at TEDxMileHighWomen

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Dr. Kristen Race is a brain scientist who specializes in how stress affects the brain. She uses her knowledge in this Ted Talk to help individuals live more mindful and less stressful lives. In this YouTube video, Dr. Race shares simple techniques parents and the whole family can enjoy, helping them feel happier, healthier, calmer, and less stressed out.

URL: https://youtu.be/Awd0kgxcZws

The Best Meditation Apps for Parents

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Parents are always on the go, from managing their children’s daily activities, their jobs, and daily errands such as grocery shopping. Sometimes it’s challenging for parents to find the time to be mindful due to their busy schedules. The Best Meditation Apps for Parents, gives parents information on the best mindful apps to help them slow down and focus on the present moment. Parents can subscribe to apps like Headspace, Happify, Shine Text, Spire, Smiling Mind, Mind the Bump, and many more on their smartphones and tablets to practice mindfulness through motivational articles and quotes, exercises, and activities. For example, Headspace is a personalized mindfulness coach that can provide parents with daily meditation and exercises to stay mentally healthy. Happify will allow parents to select the mental health and wellbeing goals they want to focus on. Then it will give them activities they can do to help meet those goals, such as mediation and mindful walking. Spire is an invisible mindfulness and activity tracker that’s recognized in continuous- respiration sensing, real-time interventions and actional feedback. Spire can also help parents keep track of their sleep and activity. This resource will inform parents of all the possible apps they can download so they can pick the ones that best suit their needs.

URL: https://www.activekids.com/parenting-and-family/articles/the-best-meditation-apps-for-parents


Goldstein, E., & Goldstein, S. (2016). Raising the Mindful Family. Retrieved from https://www.mindful.org/raising-the-mindful-family/

Marlowe, S. (2013). Mindful Practices for Parents. Mindful Families. Retrieved from http://www.mindfulfamilies.ca/index.php/mindful-families/mindful-parenting/practices-for-mindful-parenting

Mindfulness Exercises. (2018). Mindfulness Exercises for Parents. Retrieved from https://mindfulnessexercises.com/mindfulness-exercises-for-parents/

Morelli, A. O., & Dombeck, M. (2018). Child Development Theory: Middle Childhood (8-11). Retrieved from http://www.mhsso.org/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=37673&cn=1272

Perry, S., Hockenberry, M., Lowdermilk, D., & Wilson, D. (2013). Maternal Child Nursing Care in Canada. (1st ed.). Ontario, Canada: Elsevier.

Sheridan, C. (2016). The Mindful Nurse: Using the Power of Mindfulness and Compassion to Help You Thrive in Your Work. Charleston, SC: Rivertime Press.

Mindfulness for Older School-aged Children

By Zarqa Ahmad and Athena Williamson

What is Mindfulness?


Mindfulness can be defined as, “the ability to be fully present and attentive in the moment” (Sheridan, 2016). The foundational attitudes necessary to successfully progress towards mindful mastery are a beginner’s mind, patience, non-judging, non-striving, trust, letting go and acceptance (Sheridan, 2016). A beginner’s mind will stimulate a curious and new perspective to yourself and the world around you. Patience will guide you to work through the techniques at your own pace. A non-judging attitude will allow you to calmly and openly understand personal experiences, as well as those of others, without labelling them as right or wrong, neither good or bad. A non-striving perspective will encourage you to achieve feelings that are special to you, rather than specific goals; mindfulness is about what is inside, not an external entity. By trusting yourself, you will enable your strength and wisdom to guide you along your own path to mindfulness. Letting go will help you to release troubling thoughts from the past and future, which enable your mind and body to live in the present. Accepting your experiences and seeing the situations clearly from all points of view is the first step you can take towards a positive mindful change in your sense of being.

Mindful children

Therapeutic interventions such as meditation practice; mindfulness can help individuals disengage their “auto pilot” mode in order to look more carefully at their convictions and thought patterns. The act of pushing away negative thoughts and emotions in therapies such as cognitive behavioral theory can increase distress. So, practicing mindfulness can reduce that struggle by allowing people to relax and be calm while reflecting on his/her progress in the therapy. Therapeutic interventions help form self-awareness, and help clients induce a sense of physical and mental calmness.

You can practice the following mindfulness techniques wherever and whenever you can. All it takes is a moment to reflect on your experiences to progress your mindful development, one activity at a time. Mindfulness is not a quick fix, however, with one step at a time, you will get closer to reaching your own mindful awareness.

Mindful Moments

The Three Ps and the STOP Practice exercises can help a child to respond to situations rather than react in the moment; especially when facing a stressful or confrontational experience (Sheridan, 2016).

Mindful child

The Three Ps

  1. Pause. Bring focus to your breathing and release yourself from doing mode.
  2. Be Present. Notice the sensations of your body, the thoughts of your mind and the emotions of your soul. Be accepting to your current experience.
  3. Proceed. In this moment, pay close attention to what needs your full attention, enabling your sense of being.
Mindful children

The STOP Practice

  1. Stop what you are doing.
  2. Take a deep breath and follow the air as it enters your lungs and exits your body.
  3. Observe your physical sensations, thoughts and emotions. Do you experience tension? – Focus on breathing through it.
  4. Proceed with the activity at hand when you feel a sense of calm through the exercise and find your centre. (Sheridan, 2016).

THINK ABOUT:  What did you notice as you did these exercises? What was it like to transition from doing to being and reactive to responsive?


These mindfulness techniques can establish clarity of mind and allow for rational reasoning to the thought process. They bring your mind into a state of being present in the moment instead of compulsively doing an action or activity. These techniques can help you to deescalate internal and external stress which will influence self control over your emotions and help you to find balance of body and mind. It will enable improvements to adaptive coping, which will result in a faster recovery to the goal of a neutral emotional and physical state.

Mindful Meditation

The Three-Step Breathing Space is a formal practice of meditation, which provides you with the opportunity to take a minute for yourself to breath through your feelings of being overwhelmed with the stresses of life. This exercise can be done in any setting in as little as 30 seconds, to if you have time for.

Family healthy lifestyle concept. Pregnancy Yoga and Fitness. Young happy pregnant yoga mom resting after workout with kid girl in living room. Pregnant mother and child meditating together at home

Three-Step Breathing Space

Sit tall with good posture in a chair and start taking deep breaths. Relax your shoulders down from your ears and rest your arms down by your sides; you can place your hands on your thighs.

  • Collect Your Awareness: begin to listen to and understand your body and mind. What sensations do you feel from your head to toe? What thoughts are flowing through your mind? Accept these thoughts and feelings to move forward to the next step.
  • Gather Your Attention: now draw your attention to the feelings of your abdomen as your breath in and out. Try to keep the breaths at the centre of your thoughts. If you find yourself thinking of other things, acknowledge the thoughts and transition back to your sensations of breathing.
  • Expand Your Awareness: begin to pull your attention to your whole body as you breathe. Allow any tension to release with the exhale of your breaths. Feel the gentle flow of breathing from the top of your head, down to your toes. Accept all the sensations, as part of your complete living and breathing experience.

THINK ABOUT: Once the exercise is complete, consider what you noticed and reflect on the experience that breathing through your feelings of struggle has accomplished. (Sheridan, 2016)

Designed by Freepik
Designed by Freepik

The Three-Step Breathing Space Mindful technique will enable you to collect your awareness of your body, mind and environment, gather your attention to your unique experience and expand your awareness to enhance your physical and mental health and well-being. The ability to accept what is happening in a momentous experience will reflect your ability to accomplish a mindful act. Although it seems easy to do when reading through the exercise, mindfulness takes time to develop; little by little you will get closer to accomplishing mindfulness.

Mind and Body

Practicing the body scan can help you bring attention and awareness to your body. The body scan can help you to relax and shift from “doing” mode to “being” mode while accepting and acknowledging any stresses present (Sheridan, 2016).

Mind and Body

The Body Scan

  • Start by lying down on your back on a flat surface with your palms facing up and feet slightly apart. Alternatively, you can also do this exercise sitting in a chair with your feet touching the ground.
  • Lie still and breath in and out. Notice the rhythm of your breaths. As you breath in notice the different sensations your body is feeling. As you breath out let these sensations go.
  • Pay attention to where your breathing is felt the most. Is it the stomach, chest or nostrils? Concentrate your breathing on that area for a few seconds.
  • Now feel your breath moving down across your legs to your toes. How does it feel? Are they warm? Cold? Numb? Tingly? Is there no sensation?
  • Feel your breath moving from your toes to the ankles. Sense what you’re feeling. What does it feel like?
  • Breathe in and out and notice your breath moving up your legs to your stomach. Notice how your stomach rises and falls with each breath in and each breath out. Pause here for a few seconds and think of any feelings or stresses.
  • Notice your breath moving from your stomach to your rib cage. Feel each exhale and inhale. Notice your heartbeat.
  • Notice your breath moving down your arms to your hands. Feel the sensations in your fingers.
  • Notice where your spine connects to your neck. Notice your breath moving from your lips to your eyes and now spreading around your entire body.
  • Imagine your breath giving life to your body.

THINK ABOUT: After the exercise, think about and compare how you felt before, during and after practicing the body scan. (Sheridan, 2016)

Girl meditating with mother
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Five Senses Exercise

This is a quicker exercise that the body scan and can help one be brought to the mindful state. This exercise requires only one to two minutes to complete. (Positive Psychology Program, 2017)

  • Look around.
  • Identify five things you can see. Pick an object you don’t usually notice like a shadow or a tiny rock.
  • Identify four things you can currently feel. These four things can be anything such as the warm sun hitting your skin or the softness of your sweater.
Five senses
Designed by Freepik
  • Identify three things you can hear. Be creative these things can be anything like the sound of the wind or the sound of the car on the road.
  • Identify two things you can smell. Are these normal smells? Pick a smell you typically don’t notice. Can you smell the flowers in the grass or the smell of rain?
  • What’s one thing you can taste right now? Bring your attention to the texture and describe what it tastes like.

The Mindful Jar

This interactive mindfulness technique can help one positively cope with strong emotions. (Positive Psychology Program, 2017).

Glitter jar
  • Get a clear mason jar and fill it with water.
  • Add some glitter glue to the jar.
  • Shake the jar and watch as the glitter swirls around the jar.
  • Imagine that the glitter represents your thoughts when you’re mad, sad or stressed out. The glitter’s making it hard to see through the glass. This is what happens when you’re mad or upset, it’s hard to think or see clearly
  • Now put the jar down and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Watch as the glitter settles to the bottom of the jar.
  • Can you see through the glass now?
  • This is what happens when you pause and let your emotions be calm. You can see and think clearer (Blissful Kids, 2017).

Try Our Mindfulness Techniques Video

Video created by 
Zarqa Ahmad and Athena Williamson
6 mins, November 2018

Mindful Child Resources

Mindfulness and Meditation Videos for Kids

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The Cosmic Kids mindfulness meditation videos are a perfect way to incorporate healthy screen-time in the home and classroom settings for the body and mind. It is a popular website resource among parents, teachers, and children alike. It incorporates fun, kid-friendly yoga, mindfulness and relaxation with the host of the videos, Jaime, and can be accessed through the Cosmic Kids YouTube Channel. It is reported by parents and teachers that by using these videos, significant improvements to children’s ability to self- regulate emotions, focus their attention and empathize with others were observed.

URL: https://www.cosmickids.com/mindfulness-meditation-videos-kids/

Mindfulness for Children

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Annaka Harris, author of the children’s book, I Wonder and editor of Mindful Games, created the mindfulness for children program to support the development of concentration and self-awareness at the malleable age of 8 to 11 years of age. The program incorporates a variety of mindfulness exercises to stimulate the mind and achieve a sense of being present in the moment, such as: mindful hearing, mindful breathing, mindful seeing, and friendly wishes. Also available in this website resource are a series of interactive mindful games (activity cards), guided meditations, lessons on mindfulness and podcast interviews (ex. 10% Happier Podcast Interview).

URL: https://annakaharris.com/mindfulness-for-children/

10 Ways to Teach Mindfulness to Kids

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The website resource, the Left Brain Buddha, is a valuable resource for parents and children to incorporate mindfulness in 10 fun and simple exercises developed by Sarah Rudell Beach. The use of these mindfulness techniques will enable the child to develop emotional regulation and cognitive focus to make better decisions and calmly respond to situations rather than reacting irrationally. The website also provides a video resource to the breathing buddies mindfulness technique with Daniel Goleman and a series of external resources to various other exercises to stimulate mindfulness.

URL: https://leftbrainbuddha.com/10-ways-teach-mindfulness-to-kids/

Kids Yoga

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The yoga for kids section on the Gaia online resource provides a collection of videos designed to entice discovery, build strength and increase flexibility of the body and mind through their fun yoga sequences. It delivers a channel to tap into children’s busy lives and allow them to reconnect with themselves and the world around them. The videos encourage relaxation, positivity, creativity and silliness, as the poses guide them through interactive stories to benefit their physical, emotional and mental health and well-being.

URL: https://www.gaia.com/style/kids-yoga

3 Kid-Friendly Meditations Your Children Will Love

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This is a thoughtful article by Melissa Eisler, that outlines the benefits of meditation for children experiencing stress and anxiety, as well as those diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression. Meditation can increase attentiveness and self control as well as respect and empathy for others. The children who utilize these mindful meditation techniques will find they enable them to morph their negative thoughts and behaviors into focussed self-confidence and accepting perceptions of themselves and that of others. Also linked to this online resource is a meditation app for kids to use on mobile devices, which enables convenience for children to practice meditation on the go.

URL: https://chopra.com/articles/3-kid-friendly-meditations-your-children-will-love

NY Time’s Mindfulness for Children

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This website goes through several mindfulness practices and techniques for children and adults. It covers topics for infants, toddlers, children, older children and teenagers. There are also several links to videos and external resources which provide mindfulness games. The site also provides step by step instructions with pictures of how to perform each technique.

URL: https://www.nytimes.com/guides/well/mindfulness-for-children

Mindfulness Activities for Children and Teens

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This website goes through several different mindfulness techniques including the incorporation of games, videos and step by step instructions. They also include tips that adults can utilize to help their children with these activities. The activities range from fun interactive activities to meditation techniques. Several apps are also recommended on the site to help facilitate mindfulness in children.

URL: https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/mindfulness-for-children-kids-activities/

Meditation for Kids

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This resource requires a free subscription and is available in an app format as well as the website format. It goes through five different areas children can explore. The topic areas for meditation include; calm, focus, kindness, sleep and wakeup. These exercises help children practice breathing techniques, and specific visualizations techniques.

URL: https://www.headspace.com/meditation/kids

7 Fun Ways to Teach Your Kids Mindfulness

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This website goes through seven different exercises children can practice. Parents can also go through these exercises with their children. The exercises include the bell listening exercise, breathing buddies, the squish and relax meditation, smell and tell, the art of touch, the heartbeat exercise, and heart-to-heart. The website also includes links to external pages for additional information.

URL: lhttps://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18136/7-fun-ways-to-teach-your-kids- mindfulness.html

15 Mindfulness and Relaxation Apps for Kids with Anxiety

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This resource provides 15 apps children who experience anxiety can utilize to induce a sense of mindfulness. Descriptions and costs of each app are included as well as graphical representations. Along with each description, the ways
in which each app can benefit the child is also described. The website also goes through several children’s books that can help with mindfulness.

URL: http://parentingchaos.com/anxiety-apps-kids/


Blissful Kids (2017). Mindfulness for Kids and Teens – Calming Glitter Jar aka Mind Jar.
Retrieved from: https://blissfulkids.com/mindfulness-kids-teens-calming-glitter-jar-aka-mind-jar/

Positive Psychology Program (2017). Mindfulness activities for children and teens: 25 fun exercises for kids. Retrieved from: https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/mindfulness-for-children-kids-activities/

Sheridan, C. (2016). The mindful nurse: using the power of mindfulness and compassion to help you thrive in your work. Charleston, SC: Rivertime Press. ISBN: 978-0-9933245-2-9. Paperback

Mindfulness for Parents of Younger Adolescents

Mindful family

By Lauren Greer and Tenaia Gatland

As a parent your mind is constantly running. Maybe you are out grocery shopping or at work and you will start thinking about what you have to make for dinner or worrying about something else that has been on your mind. Mindfulness is the practice of calming your mind so that you are present within that moment and can focus on your day. Taking time to take care of your mental health and practice mindfulness allows you to be present not only for yourself, but for your family (HealthLink BC, 2017). Young adolescents (12-15-year-old) are in a stage of life where they are transitioning not only from elementary school to high school but trying to create their own unique identity (Thompson & Gauntlett-Gilbert, 2008). As a parent of young adolescents, it is important to be mindful of your 12-15-year-old making these transitions in life and help teach them the tools they need to make such transitions.

Supporting your teen

Helping Your Teen deal with Stress

Life can be stressful for a young adolescent from school, friends, family, or stress they bring upon themselves. Just like any adult a child can make high expectations of themselves and cause themselves to feel stress when they feel they have failed. As a parent you can help to reduce your child’s stress through using mindfulness to identify when they are stressed. If your child feels stressed acknowledge their feelings and reassure them that you are there for them. Develop trust and be supportive so that they feel they can come to you and share what is bothering them (HealthLink BC, 2017). Try not to overschedule your child as it can add to their stress and your own between driving them to and from activities and coordinating schedules. Talk to them about what activities or extracurriculars they enjoy doing and make time for those activities. This provides them with some control over their life and can help free up your own schedule from coordinating and commuting between multiple activities (HealthLink BC, 2017).

Be Present

Being a Good Role Model

As a parent you can also provide them with good mindfulness skills and positive coping skills to help them with the stress in their lives. Be a good example for your kids. When you are angry try to keep calm and express your anger in an appropriate way. Opening up and communicating with your child builds trust so that they feel they can talk with you. Talk and teach them about the consequences to their actions. So that when faced with a decision in the future they can think about their choices and the consequences that go along with that decision (Thompson & Gauntlett-Gilbert, 2008). Encourage them and provide opportunities for rational thinking by helping to outline what is reality versus wishful thinking. Being mindful of your own stress and your young adolescents is good, but you will also need to find ways to help get rid of or deal with your stress. By dealing with your stress you can be more present with your family and help to set a good example for your children in what they can do to help deal with their own stress (HealthLink BC, 2017).


Exercise is a great way to manage stress as it allows you to channel your energy into performing a physical task. Perform an exercise you enjoy doing and encourage your child to join in if they feel like the exercise activity can act as a stress relief and a bonding experience. Let yourself and encourage your child to talk, laugh, cry, and express anger when you feel you need to (HealthLink BC, 2017). Writing and drawing are other creative ways to channel feelings and create something of meaning to you. Children will often find a creative outlet as a way to express their feelings – allowing yourself or them to express these feelings will help you both to process them (Thompson & Gauntlett-Gilbert, 2008).

Mindful movement

Another way to relieve stress and act as a bonding experience between you and your child is doing things you love to do together such as, cooking, hiking, video games, etc. Finding ways to help you or your child relax will bring you closer together and promote positive coping. Breathing exercises, meditating, massage, aromatherapy, and yoga are great ways to channel your energy and practice mindfulness (HealthLink BC, 2017).

Here are two exercises you can do with your family to promote mindfulness:

Mindful Meditation

A formal meditation often involves a person sitting very still and focusing in on a single thing, which can be difficult for children or even adults. If you are interested in meditating as a form of relaxation it can sometime take some practice. Using a guided meditation video or audio can help you get started. To practice meditation, start out with a smaller session and slowly make your meditation sessions longer to reach your meditation goal (Thompson & Gauntlett-Gilbert, 2008).

Mindful Meditation

First start by finding a relaxing position where you feel the most comfortable, either sitting or lying down. Begin to focus on your breathing and begin to slow it down with each breath you breathe in. Make note of any feelings you feel as you are focusing on your breathing and try to let them go as you continue to breath. Release any tightness that you feel in your muscles – release that tension with every breath you take in. As you continue to breathe you should feel your stress melt away. Do not give up on trying meditation if it doesn’t work after your first try. With meditation you need to find what works for you (Inner Health Studio, 2018). There are books, videos, audio, and apps available (some are listed below in our resources section) that can help you in your mindfulness journey and help you to meditate effectively.

Mindful Music

Mindful Music

This activity is a great way to practice mindfulness with your young adolescent. Put on a song and really listen to the music and feel like you are getting inside the song. Instead of just listening to the lyrics, really listen to the instruments and see if you can identify them. Listen to how loud or soft the music is or how fast or slow it is. Ask yourself how you feel as you hear the song playing, both mentally and physically. What emotions does it make you feel and where do you feel these emotions? By asking yourself these questions you are practicing being present within that moment of listening, which is the main skill in being mindful (Sedley, 2017).

Mindfulness and the Brain

This YouTube video provides a snapshot of the functioning of your brain. Developed by Dr. Dan Siegel, the “Hand Model of the Brain,” is a great way for both you and your adolescent to understand how the brain functions, and how mindfulness skills impact our brain.

3 Steps to Mindfulness

Mindfulness is integrated into a variety of therapeutic modalities from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, to Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, but can be learned by any individual in a couple of quick steps. The biggest challenge is allowing your nagging thoughts to be present without feeling like you need to get rid of them, change, or control them. Consider these quick steps to get you started:

3 Steps to Mindfulness
Click image for a larger version to view

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Try Our Mindfully Washing Dishes Video

Mindfulness can be integrated into many of your daily activities. Whether it be eating, going for a walk, or even while you’re washing dishes.

Video created by 
Lauren Greer & Tenaia Gatland
2 mins, November 2018
In Adobe Spark Video

Resources for Mindful Parents

Book – Wherever You Go There You Are

Jon Kabat-Zinn is a leader in the field of mindfulness and has done a lot of work on the integration of mindfulness to support the experience of chronic pain sufferers. He developed the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine at the University of Massachusetts. His research has demonstrated the benefits of combating chronic pain through the use of mindfulness skills. The bio for John Kabat-Zinn can be found here: https://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/about-us/people/2-meet-our-faculty/kabat-zinn-profile/

URL: https://www.amazon.ca/Wherever-You-There-Are-Mindfulness/dp/1401307787/

A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook

This workbook is developed to make the experience of mindfulness easily accessible to any individual. Through the use of a workbook and guiding CD tracks, the individual is able to work through concepts and practice mindfulness at their own pace as time allows. Great for parents of children on-the-go.

URL: https://www.amazon.ca/Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction-Workbook/dp/1572247088/

Book – True Refuge

This book is a personal favourite. It touches on the difficulties that life offers. The author discusses the challenges of being a parent, a partner, and an individual, and inspires kindness for each of the roles a person has. It offers forgiveness to the individual and encourages gentleness between ourselves and our own thoughts. Dr. Tara Brach can further be explored through her website and has a number of helpful talks and guided meditations at – https://www.tarabrach.com/

URL: https://www.amazon.ca/True-Refuge-Tara-Brach/dp/0553386344/

The Mindful Way Workbook

Many of us struggle with mental health challenges at some point in our lives. Mindfulness offers us a skill to help manage stress and reduce the intensity of overwhelming emotions. This workbook is another way that the individual can guide themselves through the process of setting up a mindfulness practice.

URL: https://www.amazon.ca/Mindful-Way-Workbook-Depression-Emotional/dp/1462508146/

Insight Timer – Meditation App

This application is freely accessible on both Android and iPhone. It offers a large diversity of meditations ranging from body scans, loving-kindness meditations, and guided visualization. The best feature of this app is that it offers something for every individual, whether you are just starting out with mindfulness and meditation or are wanting to explore a deeper practice. My personal favourites include “May I Be Happy,” by Stephan Pende Wormland; meditations by Tara Brach or Andy Hobson

URL: https://insighttimer.com

Calm – Mindfulness App


This application offers sleep stories, breathing exercises, and soothing sounds to help you focus, relax, and sleep better. It is easily navigated and provides a user-friendly experience to beginning a mindfulness practice.

URL: https://www.calm.com

Headspace – Meditation App

One of the best features of this application is the accessibility it offers. This application is even available on some planes and can help the user reduce anxious experiences while flying. The application is designed to be accessible by a diverse consumer body and has inviting animations that help guide the individuals experience at any age.

URL: https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app


Lotus Blue

This website is a one-stop-shop for everything mindfulness. One of the great offerings of this website is the information it provides on mindfulness and the brain. Not only does it offer the latest research on mindfulness, but also has sections that can help a person get started with adding mindfulness in to their lives.

URL: https://www.mindful.org/


Lotus Blue

Zencast is a podcast offering a number of discussions on meditation and mindfulness related topics. What’s great about it is that you can listen while driving, riding the train or while exercising. As a result, it’s easily fit in to a busy schedule.

URL: http://zencast.org/

Heart Rate Monitor

By using any inexpensive heart rate monitor, you can measure your heart rate at the beginning of a mindfulness exercise and notice the change in your heart rate on completion of your exercise. You might find it helpful to identify when your heart rate is increasing or by noticing feelings of stress or anxiety and using a mindfulness skill to reduce your heart rate and promote feelings of calmness. Having a high heart rate is not always indicative of anxiety or stress but can indicate increased energy expenditure like when you’re exercising.

URL: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07L71HDM3/ref=sspa_dk_hqp_detail_aax_0?psc=1


HealthLink BC (2017). Stress Management: Helping your child with stress. Retrieved From: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/aba5971.

HealthLink BC (2017). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Retrieved From: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/abl0293.

Inner Health Studio (2018). Guided Meditation Scripts. Retrieved at: https://www.innerhealthstudio.com/meditation-scripts.html.

Sedley, B. (2017). Stuff That Sucks: A Teen’s Guide to Accepting What You Can’t Change and Committing to What You Can. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

Thompson, M., & Gauntlett-Gilbert, J. (2008). Mindfulness with children and adolescents: Effective clinical application. Clinical child psychology and psychiatry, 13(3), 395-407.

Mindfulness for Younger Adolescents I

Mindful Girl

By Matt Tucker

The Adolescent’s Desire for Independence & Autonomy

Mindful teen

As an adolescent, one of the most important developmental tasks is achieving a sense of autonomy – the ability for one to make one’s own choices without the need to rely on others, such as parents (Shaffer & Kipp, 2010). In order to have a healthy parent-child relationship, both the adolescent and parent should remain mindful of one another’s intentions, desires, and goals. Robert LeVine (1988) explained that parents all around the world share three common goals: to provide safety; to provide the child with the skills to become economically productive adults, and to ensure the child acquires the same cultural values as the parents. Adolescents should remain mindful of these parental goals as they desire greater autonomy and independence. Although greater independence is something that all adolescents need for a successful transition into adulthood, having too much independence may cause poor adjustment (Shaffer & Kipp, 2010). It is also important to be mindfully aware that the amount of independence given to an adolescent is based on several factors, such as the age of the adolescent, gender, cultural expectations and parental attitudes (Bumpus, Crouter & McHale, 2001). Although it is easy to make comparisons between peers, remember that each parent has their own approach to raising their child with the three parental goals in mind.

Importance of Family and Mindfulness in Adolescence

Warm and supportive parenting along with a strong sense of connectedness with family provides a source of support throughout childhood development. Family provides the adolescent with a secure base enabling them to widen their social environments and explore new things (Kim, Woodhouse & Dai, 2018; Allen et al., 2003; Byng‐Hall, 1995). Having a positive relationship with one’s family offers many benefits in terms of daily life and healthy development. A supportive and warm family relationship fosters social competence, self-esteem, independence and resiliency (Thomas & Joseph, 2013; Steinberg & Morris, 2001; Brennan, 1993). The importance of mindfulness increases during early adolescence as their views, desires and interpersonal goals may conflict with that of their parents (Shaffer & Kipp, 2010). Although some conflict between the adolescent and parent is normal, too much may have negative implications on both well-being and development (Moed, 2015). Fortunately, mindfulness can help reduce parent-child conflict by bringing attention into the present moment and allowing both sides to perceive each other’s thoughts and feelings more accurately (Duncan, Coatsworth & Greenberg, 2009).

Mindfulness can be defined as the ability for an individual to be fully present and attentive in the moment (Sheridan, 2016; Gehart, 2012). Being mindful means accepting thoughts as they occur and allowing them to unfold without judgment (Gehart, 2012). A difficult concept to master is to let go of thoughts and notions of what “should” be and to investigative the deeper meaning of what is occurring (Gehart, 2012).

Mindful family

For example, Tom, a 15 year-old-boy reacts angrily at his parents who forbid him to stay up past 11 pm on a Wednesday night. Without being mindful, Tom believes that his parents are punishing him and not allowing him to “grow-up”. However, If Tom were mindful, he would understand that his parent’s intention was to allow him enough rest so that he would be able to perform well on his math test the following morning. Furthermore, mindfulness would have enabled Tom to avoid reacting automatically, investigate his parent’s reasoning and intentions, and in evaluating his own thoughts, feelings and emotions (Raski, 2015; Swart, Bass & Apsche, 2015). Mindfulness also has positive implications for family communication patterns, conflict resolution, and family cohesion (Brody, Scherer, Turner, Annett & Dalen, 2018). Therefore, the practice of mindfulness beginning in adolescence cannot be overstated.

Benefits of Mindfulness

Mindful teen

The literature examining the benefits of mindfulness is extensive. Mindfulness is associated with improved emotional regulation, well-being, attention, self-compassion, empathy, acceptance of self, and ability to respond with awareness (Baer, 2010; Kocovski , Segal & Battistam, 2009; Brown & Ryan, 2003; South, Doss, & Christensen, 2010; Birnie, Speca, & Carlson, 2010). Evidence also suggests that practicing mindfulness can reduce stress by creating a relaxation response in the brain (Gehart, 2012). Research examining the benefits of mindfulness-based activities in adolescence has shown favourable effects on self-esteem, sleep quality and duration, academic performance, self-regulation, social skills and well-being (Tan, 2016; Biegel, Brown, Shapiro & Schubert, 2009; Greco, Baer, & Smith, 2011). Daily mindfulness-based practice helps improve quality of life and the ability to handle the stress associated with adolescence (Tan, 2016). In addition, mindfulness brings an awareness to different manifestations of stress and anxiety, enabling the adolescent to respond accordingly (Malboeuf-Hurtubise, Achille, Sultan & Vadnais, 2013). Thus, the stress and anxiety which can easily build up throughout adolescence can be quickly targeted using mindfulness, creating peace of mind (Malboeuf-Hurtubise, Achille, Sultan & Vadnais, 2013).

Modifications to Mindfulness Practice in Adolescence

Mindful teen

Many of the current mindfulness-based activities do not take developmental considerations into account. In order to practice mindfulness effectively as an adolescent, modifications are required (Tan, 2016). For example, adolescent’s ability to focus attention on a single activity is limited when compared to adults (Tan, 2016). Therefore, mindfulness-based activities will not exceed a duration longer than that of which the adolescent can maintain focus. In addition, mindfulness-based activities will aim to incorporate multiple senses, such as the need for movement and physical activity (Tan, 2016). Although young adolescents are in Piaget’s formal operations stage, they are only beginning to develop complex cognitive skills, such as verbal fluency, abstract reasoning, and conceptualization (Tang, 2011). Therefore, all mindfulness-based practices should consider the childs age and stage of development.

Mindfulness Exercise 1: Mindful Breathing

Mindfulness practice enables the learner to obtain a more positive way of relating to thoughts, feelings, and experiences. In addition, it allows the adolescent the ability to implement better problem-solving strategies and more effective responses to problems (Oberle, & Schonert-Reichl, 2014). The benefit of mindfulness practice is that it can be practiced on anything that can be the focus of one’s attention (Gehart, 2012). The foundation of mindfulness practice is the focus on one’s breath. Researchers have shown several benefits of mindfulness breathing, such as promoting optimal brain functioning (Siegel, 2007). Mindful breathing requires the individual to sit in a chair in a dimly lit room. It involves a process of focusing one’s attention on their breath, over and over. Through focusing on one’s breath, the individual successfully refocuses their attention to the present moment (Sheridan, 2016).

Mindful breathing

To begin mindful breathing, set a timer for 5 minutes and sit in a comfortable chair. The goal during the five minutes is to focus your attention on your breath as you inhale and exhale. If and when you notice other thoughts creep into your mind, remind yourself to focus on your breath by using a cue word such as “thinking” (Sheridan, 2016). Returning focus to one’s breath also requires the individual to accept whatever thoughts occur without judgment (Gehart, 2012). The individual must also display self-compassion and not beat oneself up about losing focus (Sheridan, 2016; Gehart, 2012). Do not worry about the number of times you have to refocus your thoughts on breathing. Mindfulness-based exercises take patience and practice. Daily mindfulness practice will positively influence the rest of the day by bringing increased attention to the moment and reducing negative emotions and mental preoccupations (Sheridan, 2016). It is important to note that mindfulness breathing can be done throughout the day in a variety of settings and does not require much time.

Mindfulness Exercise 2: Mindfulness Art

As indicated previously, to maximize the benefits of mindfulness practice during adolescence, activities should incorporate multiple senses (Tan, 2016). In addition, including practical elements which encourage active participation in present-moment activities are beneficial for adolescents (Kabat-Zinn, 2003). Mindfulness art is a form of mindfulness practice which has the individual partake in creative activities, such as colouring and drawing. Beckwith (2014) explained that colouring pre-drawn mandala’s shifts the adolescent’s attention towards the present moment and increases awareness of their current experiences.

Mindful art

Mindfulness art has shown beneficial results for reducing stress, anxiety, fatigue, and rumination while promoting feelings of relaxation (Carsley & Heath, 2018; Mantzios & Giannou, 2018; van der Vennet & Serice, 2012). There are hundreds of colouring-books available for purchase and can be implemented effectively with little cost. However, when one is performing mindfulness art, avoid thinking about things other than the activity. As with mindful breathing, the individual will have to accept thoughts as they occur without judgment. However, instead of refocusing on one’s breath, the individual refocuses on their art.

Try The Body Scan Video

Video created by 
Matt Tucker
2:27 mins, November 2018
In Adobe Spark Video

Mindful Adolescent Resources

The Greater Good Science Center

Be Kind

The Greater Good Science Center offers a variety of science-based activities, such as compassion, kindness, forgiveness, empathy, gratitude, and mindfulness. The website, hosted by the University of California, Berkeley, offers suggestions, guidance and the time required to complete each activity. For example, the mindful breathing activity requires 15 minutes and for the individual to find a relaxed and comfortable position. In addition, features on the website allow the user to mark activities as complete or to save it for later. The aim of The Greater Good Science Center is to provide the user with the resources and tools to live a happier and more meaningful life. However, as noted on their website, the tools and resources provided are not a substitute for therapy or to serve as a form of mental health treatment.

URL: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/

Mindfulness for Teens

Mindfulness for Teens is a website which provides information, resources and tools to successfully apply mindfulness into everyday life. The website was designed by Dr. Dzung Vo, a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine at British Columbia Children’s Hospital. His website includes a detailed description of what mindfulness is, its practical applications as well as firsthand accounts from adolescents who have implemented mindfulness into their lives. A goal set out by Dr. Dzung Vo is to promote resiliency in young people to help them thrive in today’s world. The website also provides guided meditation instructions on mindful breathing, sitting meditation, body scan, walking meditation, mindful movement, loving-kindness, and mindfulness of thinking. Lastly, the website provides additional resources such as websites, apps, and books which focus on mindfulness practice.

URL: https://mindfulnessforteens.com/


Foundry, a Canadian based company, provides information, resources, and tools to help improve access to health and social services for young people throughout British Columbia. Hosted by Providence Health Care, the website offers information on the basics of mindfulness including the benefits and different ways to be mindful. Foundry also provides a list of recommended apps, such as Calm and Headspace as well as links to where one can find help and support. Their interactive map helps youth find local programs and community services which may offer them additional assistance. Foundry also provides resources for friends of individuals who may need help. For example, the website includes information on how you can help a friend; signs your friend may need support; concerned about a friend’s alcohol or substance use; tips for talking with your friend; and tips for supporting a friend’s mental wellness.

URL: https://foundrybc.ca/

Healthy Living Toolkits

Kelty Mental Health Resource Center offers a variety of toolkits for adolescents and their families. The online Family Toolkit offers detailed and practical information on healthy eating, physical activity, stress management, and sleeping. The resource also offers video’s on how to set S.M.A.R.T goals as a family. The online and in-print Family Toolkit is offered in English, French, Korean, Farsi, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Punjabi. If needed, the printed version of the Family Toolkit can be borrowed from BC Children’s Hospital. The Family Toolkit offers links and titles to additional resources on all topics covered. In addition, the online resource offers contact information of trained parent and youth peer support workers which can aid adolescents and their family’s on weekdays from 9:30am-5:00 pm.

URL: https://keltymentalhealth.ca/toolkits

Breathr: Mindful Moments

Breathr is an interactive app developed by the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre to help adolescents develop mindfulness and improve overall health. Available on both Android and Apple, the app provides the user with several mindfulness activities as well as the science behind each practice. The aim of the application is to provide the adolescent with a fun, easy to use, developmentally appropriate tool to benefit their well-being and health. Breathr guides the user through several exercises, such as body scans, mindful breathing, and SOBER coping space. The goal of these activities is to improve mindfulness and switch attention to the present moment. Finally, Breathr allows the user to set reminders and notifications of when to perform mindfulness practice. In addition, the user can select which type of mindfulness activity they would like to perform at specific times throughout the day.

URL: https://keltymentalhealth.ca/breathr


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Tan, L. B. (2016). A critical review of adolescent mindfulness-based programmes. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry21(2), 193–207.https://doi.org/10.1177/1359104515577486

Thomas, N. R., & Joseph, M. V. (2013). Positive Adolescent Development: Relevance of Family Interventions. Rajagiri Journal of Social Development; Kerala5(2), 115–134.

Unhappy-man-mask-sad-face-sitting [Digital image]. (2014, July). Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/unhappy-man-mask-sad-face-sitting-389944/

van der Vennet, R., & Serice, S. (2012). Can Coloring Mandalas Reduce Anxiety? A Replication Study. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association29(2), 87–92. https://doi-org.ezproxy.kpu.ca:2443/10.1080/07421656.2012.680047

Werner, B. (2012, June). Totem-pole-native-Indian-Vancouver [Digital image]. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/totem-pole-native-indian-vancouver-50437/

Mindfulness for Younger Adolescents II

Mindful Teen

By Michael Izatt

Mindfulness for Adolescents & Teens

Mindful teen
Source: Green Charmeleon. Retrieved from http://realisticshots.com/post/126994769222/000109

Being a teenager can be really tough at times. With the pressures of school, friends and other relationships, home life, extracurricular activities, or trying to figure out who you are in this world, things can get quite stressful! Whether you are struggling from something particular or just feeling overwhelmed with everything going on—you are not alone! In fact, according to the American Psychological Association (2014), current stress levels among adolescents and teens are significantly high, which from a mental health perspective is problematic, as their ability to cope with stress and anxiety has become increasingly difficult. The good news is, there are many things adolescents and teens can do to effectively manage daily stress and anxiety. One effective tool is the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness can help you manage your stress and anxiety so you feel more calm and grounded as you live your life. In fact, mindfulness has been medically proven to reduce stress, increase mental toughness, and create ways that can help those who use mindful techniques gain a healthier perspective on both themselves and the world they experience (Bluth & Eisenlohr-Moul, 2017).

Benefits of Mindfulness

Source: Blake Verdoorn. Retrieved from http://realisticshots.com/post/130616915364/000137

Better sleep
Decrease in stress & anxiety
Improved mood
Stronger relationships
Improved focus & concentration
Fosters compassion and trust
Allows us to “live in the moment”


How Do I Practice Mindfulness? What Can I Do?

You don’t have to be a spiritual guru or an expert in yoga to practice mindfulness! Anybody can do it and it’s really easy to learn and practice. While there are more advanced practices that will improve your mental and physical health (e.g. things like meditation, yoga, spiritual retreats, etc.), there are a few simple mental exercises that will allow you to calm your mind, relax your body, and live in “the now.” Here are two mindfulness techniques recommended by Anxiety Canada (2018) that can easily be done from your home or any other quiet place where you’re able to relax. Give them a try! Your mind and body will feel much more relaxed after!

Three Senses Technique

First, put your cell phone away and turn off all other connective-technology and find a quiet and safe place to sit and relax

Three Senses Technique

Next, take a few big breaths in with long exhales. Feel your body as it sinks into the chair.

Then, calmly ask yourself:

i.) What are three things I can hear? (the birds, my breathing, a fan, etc.)
ii.) What are three things I can see? (the chair, the clock, the door, the lamp)
iii.) What are three things I can feel? (my socks, my chair, my hair on neck, my shoes)

Calm Breathing

Mindful teen

i) Mindful Breathing

Find a quiet place to lay down or sit. Close your eyes and begin to breath naturally. Place your hands on your stomach and feel your stomach move in and out as you take deep breaths in from your nose and exhale through your mouth. Focus your thoughts on each breath in and nothing else. If your mind wanders to a random thought, redirect it back to thinking about each breath in and out. Let your body sink into the bed or chair and continue to take deep breaths in for 3-4 minutes.

ii) *Box Breathing- See video below!

Mindfulness Technique-Box Breathing Video

Video created by 
Michael Izatt
3:18 mins, November 2018

Mindful Adolescent Resources

Mindfulness for Teens

Lotus Blue

Wonder what mindfulness looks like for teens? Check this link out! Created by Dr. Dzung Vo (MD), a pediatrician who specializes in adolescence medicine at BC Children’s Hospital, this website has everything you need and is specifically tailored for teens. Included is a brief description of what mindfulness is and things we can do to practice mindfulness. The best part? This website even has ‘youth voices’ that includes stories from other teens who use mindfulness as a way to reduce anxiety and de-stress. With a ‘guided meditations’ section, this website even has videos that teach you breathing techniques, mindful thinking, body scans, and much more! A great resource for teens who wish to benefit from mindfulness.

URL: https://mindfulnessforteens.com/

MindShift App (iOS and Android)

Lotus Blue

Feeling stressed about an upcoming exam or just life in general? Anxiety or fear getting in the way of your daily living? Download this app and get your mind back on track! This app is completely free (donations accepted) and was created by Anxiety Canada with the help of BC Children’s Hospital and helps those suffering from anxiety. Use it at home or when you’re out with your smart phone—this app has everything from education about anxiety, useful tools and strategies, inspirational quotes and much more! Don’t let anxiety and fear debilitate you anymore! Get this app and start controlling your anxiety and keep it in check! For an additional resource, check out https://youth.anxietycanada.com/

URL: https://www.anxietycanada.com/resources/mindshift-app

Smiling Mind App (iOS and Android)

Lotus Blue

Who doesn’t like free apps? This mindfulness app was designed and created for people of all ages and even has programs designed for specific age groups! Feeling stressed about planning for the future? Changing schools or entering a new grade? School or family got you feeling overwhelmed? Download this app and pick a program that will help you manage your thoughts, feelings, and moods. Equipped with guided meditations, mindfulness activities, and progress trackers, this app will help you develop a mindful approach to any stressful situation or event. It’s completely free with no hidden fees and is extremely user-friendly! Give it a try! For more resources check out https://www.smilingmind.com.au/

URL: https://www.smilingmind.com.au/smiling-mind-app/

Psychology Today: 10 Ways to Protect the Brain from Daily Screen Time

Lotus Blue

This link provides 10 evidence-based strategies that will help your brain from overstimulation caused by too much screen time. Written by Dr. Victoria L. Dunckley (MD), these strategies help you reduce your screen time so you can improve your mood, sleep, diet and energy levels. Each strategy explains why it will help your mind insofar as how it affects your brain chemistry and hormone levels. In a world riddled with phones and computers, try putting them down for a bit and give these practices a try and see how well it improves your mental well-being! P.S. It even has something on mindfulness!

URL: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/mental-wealth/201704/10-ways-protect-the-brain-daily-screen-time

The Mindfulness Summit

Lotus Blue

Feel like obtaining some guru-like wisdom in your life? Listen to these videos by Jon Kabat-Zinn (Ph.D.), a pioneer in mindfulness and founder of mindfulness- based stress reduction (MBSR). Focus on awareness, patience, the power of letting -go, trust, and living in the moment to help you live on life’s terms and not your own. Blend in with life and its events in a much more calm and mindful way. Whether you just want to listen to some calming videos by Jon Kabat-Zinn or find other mindfulness videos from a variety of mindfulness speakers (both free and by subscription), check out The Mindfulness Summit and find all kinds of helpful links and strategies for mindfulness. https://themindfulnesssummit.com/

URL: https://themindfulnesssummit.com/sessions/9-powerful-meditation-tips-jon-kabat-zinn/


American Psychological Association. (2014). Stress in America: Are teens adopting adults’ stress habits? http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2013/ stress-report.pdf

Anxiety Canada. (2018). Mindful exercises. Retrieved from https://youth.anxietycanada.com/ mindfulness-exercises

Bluth, K., & Eisenlohr-Moul, T. A. (2017). Response to a mindful self-compassion intervention in teens: A within-person association of mindfulness, self-compassion, and emotional well-being outcomes. Journal of Adolescence, 57, 108–118.

Mindfulness for Older Adolescents

Mindful Teen

By Haylee Hansvall

What is Mindfulness?


Mindfulness is rooted in ancient Eastern philosophy and is defined as “the ability to be present and attentive in the moment” (Sheridan, 2016, p. 29). What does it really mean to be present? We are truly present when we focus on only what is happening right now (Agarwal & Dixit, 2017). Mindfulness asks that you do not judge or dwell on what is happening in the present moment, but that you become aware of it and acknowledge it. Focusing on the present moment sets you up to let go of the past and not worry about the future, which can lessen feelings of anxiety and regret (Healthwise Staff, 2017). There are many forms of mindfulness practice. Focused meditation draws your attention to one thing such as your breath, and image, or how your body feels. Loving-kindness meditation asks you to think of something you like about yourself and other people you know (Oberle & Schonert-Reichel, 2014). Consistent practice of loving-kindness meditation has been shown to improve our self-esteem and feeling of social-connectedness.


Why Mindfulness is Awesome

Adolescence is a period of heightened stress due to many psychological, physical, and social changes all occurring at once (Agarwal & Dixit, 2017). Have you felt your heart race before an exam? Have you ever had trouble focusing on a specific task at school or work? Have you ever felt your mind jump endlessly from thought to thought? Have you ever panicked under pressure? Have you ever lost your temper over something little? It’s okay – most people your age have. There’s good news, though! We can train ourselves to be able to handle these situations better. While stress is a fact of life, but being stressed-out doesn’t have to be (Beach, n.d.). Mindfulness can help you make stress work in your favour by improving your concentration and being less likely to get thrown off track by distraction.

Mindfulness Benefits

Mindfulness can help us learn how to calm ourselves, lessen stress, and help improve our mood (Sheridan, 2016). Adolescents who practiced mindfulness training experienced an improvement of their ADHD symptoms and improved the quality of life of adolescents with depression (Tan, 2015). According to Anxiety Canada Youth (n.d.), focusing on the present moment makes it really hard for us to feel anxious because anxiety is connected to the past and the future. Did you know that mindfulness can improve the health of our bodies, too? Mindfulness has been shown to improve sleep, lower blood pressure, and improve symptoms of people who have chronic conditions like diabetes (Healthwise Staff, 2017).

How to Practice Mindfulness

In order to reap the benefits of mindfulness, the more you do it the better. Luckily, mindfulness can be practiced anytime, anywhere, and by anyone! You don’t have to be in a quiet room or a spiritual person to be mindful (Sheridan, 2016). So how do we practice being mindful? In the beginning, you may notice your mind wander. That’s expected as mindfulness is a learned skill. Try to refocus it back to the present moment when you feel it drift away. Here are some examples of ways to practice mindfulness:

Body Scan

Bosy scan

This exercise connects the mind with the body in the present moment. First, sit or stand comfortably. Focus your attention on your entire body, starting at your feet. Feel your toes wiggle and slowly work all the way up your body, ending at your head. Note the places where you feel tense or in pain. Send energy with your breath to relax these places (Healthwise Staff, 2017). This exercise can be done anywhere, at any time.

Mindful Eating

Mindful eating

Do you pay attention to the food when you eat? Many people tend to eat in a rush without paying much attention. This exercise asks you to really focus on eating a meal. Observe the food on your plate. Smell the aroma of the food. Notice what your stomach is telling you. Are you hungry? Notice what your mind is telling you. Do you like these foods? Focus on chewing and swallowing each bite in the present moment. What flavours do you taste? (Healthwise Staff, 2017). Eat slowly, with intention. How do you feel? Do you feel calm? Do you feel connected to the present moment?

Loving-Kindness Meditation

Loving Kindness

In her book, Sheridan (2016) describes the following loving-kindness meditation. Start by sitting or standing comfortably. Close your eyes. Slowly inhale and exhale three times. Picture yourself standing in front of you. Who do you see? Extend kind wishes to the image of yourself in front of you. Feel the kindness that you are sending yourself. Now, picture someone you know who has helped you. Send them kind wishes and connect this kindness with your breath in the present moment. Notice what you are wishing them. Next, picture someone you kind of know, but not well. Do the same for them. Next, picture someone you find difficult. Stay focused on the present moment and acknowledge your feelings you have toward this person. Send them genuinely kind wishes. Repeat the phrases to stay focused. Picture all four people in front of you. Bring your attention to your breath and slowly open your eyes. How do you feel?

Mindful Music

Mindful music

This exercise lets you choose your favourite song (or any song). Listening to music mindfully, not passively (really paying attention) can be a good stress reliever. First, sit comfortably and get rid of all distractions. Close your eyes and take two deep breaths, connecting yourself to the present moment. Take note of the silence and the sound of your breath before the music plays. When you hear the song play, focus on the beat of the music. Is it slow or fast? What does the song do to your heartbeat? Focus on how it makes you feel. What emotions do you feel? Listen to every lyric. What instruments do you hear? (Beach, n.d.).

Video: A One-Minute Meditation (“OM-M”)

Everyone has a minute or two to spare in their day. Watch the video below and follow along with me!

Video created by 
Haylee Hansvall
1:53 mins, November 2018
In Adobe Spark Video


Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS)

How mindful are you? The Mindful Attention Awareness Scale is a tool that will allow you to rate your own level of mindfulness. All you need to do is rate from 1-6 how frequently you experience each scenario on the list. Calculate your score by finding the average. The higher your score, the higher your level of mindfulness. Go ahead, give it a try!

URL: https://ppc.sas.upenn.edu/sites/default/files/mindfulnessscale.pdf

Headspace Mobile App

Headspace is a popular app that teaches you how to be mindful through guided mindfulness and meditation exercises. Examples of topics include stress, anxiety, sleep, procrastination, and focus. Some exercises also include interactive videos. You can even get started with Headspace’s Basics course for free!

URL: http:// https://www.headspace.com

Mindfulness – Foundry BC

Foundry BC is a health and wellness initiative designed for youth ages 12-24. This website has a wealth of information about mindfulness and where to find more support. You can also learn new ways to be mindful and read personal stories about how some teens have managed their mental health challenges.

URL: https://foundrybc.ca/resource/mindfulness/

Mindfulness for Teens

The website has several guided meditations that you can listen to from eating a raisin mindfully to being present as you feel your toes wiggle in your shoes. Other meditations include mindful movement, walking meditation, and loving-kindness meditation. The audio recordings range from three to thirty minutes. Try listening to one today!

URL: http://mindfulnessforteens.com/guided-meditations/

Growing up Stressed or Growing up Mindful?

Did you know that teenagers are the most stressed out aged group in America? Balancing a social life, school, planning for college, part-time jobs, and relationships – sometimes it can be a too much to handle. In this 20-minute TEDx talk, Dr. Chris Willard explains what happens in the body and in the mind during the stress response, and how being mindful can actually help you make stress a good thing.

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znlsoaM_ALQ


Agarwal, A., & Dixit, V. (2017). The role of meditation on mindful awareness and life satisfaction of adolescents. Journal of Psychosocial Research, 12(1), 59–70.

Anxiety Youth Canada. (n.d.). Mindfulness exercises. Retrieved from

Beach, S. R. (n.d.). Mindfulness for teens. Retrieved from

Headspace. (2018). Logo [Digital Image]. Retrieved from https://www.headspace.com

Healthwise Staff. (2017). Mindfulness-based stress reduction. Retrieved from

Foundry BC. (2018). Logo [Digital Image]. Retrieved from https://foundrybc.ca

Oberle, E., & Schonert-Reichl, K. (2014). Mindfulness in adolescence: New directions for youth development, 142. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com

Sheridan, C. (2016). The mindful nurse: Using the power of mindfulness and compassion to help you thrive in your work. Charleston, SC: Rivertime Press.

Tan, L. B. (2016). A critical review of adolescent mindfulness-based programmes. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 21(2), 193–207. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/1359104515577486

Mindfulness for Young Adults

Mindful woman

By Jenna Bissoondatt

Mindful Young Adults (ages 19-35)

As a young adult, you are at a point in your life that is unique to each individual. For some this time can mean getting married, having children and buying your first house. For others it can be a time for education and career advancement. And for many it is a combination of some of these mixed with travel, exploration or finding purpose. It is important to always remind yourself that your path is a unique one, meant only for you and comparing yourself to others will not help or guide you on your way.

Your unique Path

This time in your life may be very stressful as you feel the pressures of adulthood and expectations from society or your family to act a certain way or meet certain criteria while your own true wishes can be put on the back burner. Whatever you choose to do and however you choose to forge your own path is going to be a personal venture, but what is important is remaining grounded and mindful of these expectations. Not only should you be aware of what is expected of you, but also what you expect of yourself and how you respond to the external pressures of others (Sheridan, 2016).

Choose your own Path

Knowing your values and where you stand on these societal “norms” is instrumental in leading a life that is fulfilling to yourself and not just to the outside world. No matter what choice you make, whether having a family is a priority for you or seeing the world’s wonders or even both, it should be done with the assurance that it is right for you at this point in your life.

Finding your way

There are many tactics that can be used to enable you in your mindfulness, but it is important to remember that mindfulness is easily barred under stress, fatigue, frustration and uncertainty (Sheridan, 2016). For this reason, your overall well-being must take precedence at all times. Ensuring you are taking care of your physical, mental, spiritual and social health will aid you in your path to maintaining mindfulness and being mindful can improve the way you deal with unhealthy habits and stress (Wright et al., 2018).

Becoming mindful

Parents of Young Adults

If you are the parent of a young adult, mindfulness practice is beneficial to you as well. Many times, as parents, because we want what is best for our children, we tend to put a lot of pressure on them. This is evident today because of the trend towards settling down later in life than previous generations. Young adults are less financially stable, are more flexible in their careers, and stay in school or go back to school later than ever before.

Parents  of young adults

This may be a cause of worry for you as their parent, concerned that they aren’t taking on responsibility or are hiding from adult life or even blaming yourself that you did not do a good enough job preparing them for success. But in these cases, you have to remind yourself that your child needs the freedom to explore their options in their own way at their own pace. It is also important to remember that each of your children will do this differently and you cannot expect the same timeline or needs for all of them to be the same.

Everyone  is unique

Benefits of Mindfulness

Mindfulness has many benefits and can be used to mitigate anxiety, depression and other forms of emotional distress (Coholic, McAlister, Eys, Sugeng & Smith, 2018). It can help you to learn acceptance and promote more positive thinking. Essentially mindfulness can be what you want it to be and it has capabilities and possibilities that are only limited by your ability to practice mindfulness. Practice is key, it is not something that comes as second nature or can be mastered with a few attempts. It will take hard work but again the benefits are invaluable to your well-being and well worth the time and effort. You may be skeptical of the power of mindfulness, as many are, but given the opportunity there is no telling what you can be capable of by opening yourself up to the practice (Foundation for a Mindful Society, 2018).


A couple of exercises that may be beneficial to begin practicing mindfulness are explained below.

Body Scan

Mindful pose

A big part of mindfulness is awareness and intention, we want to become aware of what we are doing, why we are doing it and move with intention (Positive Psychology Program, 2017). The first exercise I want to explain is called a body scan. During a body scan you can either lie flat on your back with your palms facing up or sit comfortably and relaxed in a chair with your feet flat on the ground (Positive Psychology Program, 2017). During this exercise you will want to keep very still and if you feel the need to readjust or move, it should be done purposefully. You want to draw attention to your breath, without changing its rhythm but focusing on the inhalation and exhalation and how each part of your body feels. For example, what are you wearing and how does it feel, what does the floor against your back feel like and how is the temperature on your skin.. You can then start to recognize if there are any areas of your body that have less feeling or has a heightened perception of sense and note the sensations. After you have gone through all the parts of your body beginning from your toes all the way up to your head, you can then come back to open your eyes and slowly sit up.

Self-Compassion Pause

Mindful pause

A second exercise, that is slightly more advanced but pertinent to being compassionate with yourself is the self- compassion pause. Oftentimes even those who are compassionate to others find it difficult to cut themselves any slack (Positive Psychology Program, 2017). The self-compassion pause is something that can be done to mindfully bring yourself to extend your compassion inwards and not just outwards. It begins by writing down the date, then bring your attention to one thought, emotion or physical feeling; this can be painful, embarrassing or disturbing to you. Take notice of this and become mindful of it, then remind yourself that you are a human being and acknowledge the feeling. Next give yourself a hug or place your hand over your heart in compassion, acceptance and permit yourself to feel that emotion. This is not a time to breakdown but acknowledge and forgive yourself and accept that this is human and your feelings are validated. The final step is to vocalize three statements. Firstly, stating “this is ” (i.e. Heartbreak), then “_ is part of being human” and lastly making a statement that offers compassion to yourself such as “I love myself just as I am”.


There are many other ways to practice mindfulness and some exercises can take place anywhere and only take a few minutes, where others may span much longer time periods and require absolute silence and privacy (Foundation for a Mindful Society, 2018). Wherever you are in your mindfulness practice, it is important to recognize that this journey is yours and is a continuing one that isn’t necessarily a means to an end goal. It is a constant learning process to see yourself more clearly, to accept more deeply and truly feel a sense of enlightenment of which you may or may not understand yet.


Try My Breathing Exercise Video

Video created by 
Jenna Bissoondatt
1:44 mins, November 2018

Mindful Resources


This is a resource that can be accessed on the website or downloaded as an app. It offers games for young adults that encourage mindfulness and helps people learn and begin to meditate. The app acts as a guide for a new way to live and promotes awareness and being present. There are options for short guided meditations for any time of day, breathing exercises and many others that help with relaxation and remaining calm.

URL: https://awaremeditationapp.com/mindfulness-facts-games-for-teens-and-young- adults-to-live-mindfully/


This is a personalized meditation guide that offers SOS exercises in emergency situations, sessions for stress and anxiety and even meditations to promote ideal sleeping conditions. It is available in the app store as well as online. Headspace is designed to reduce daily stress and perceived stress, improve focus, attention and the ability to ignore distractions, and boost compassion.

URL: https://www.headspace.com

Mindful: Healthy mind, Healthy life

This is a website with information about all aspects of mindfulness. It has descriptions about the biology and psychology behind stress and research supporting the use of mindfulness. There are exercises for people with different types of stressors and information about how mindfulness is beneficial for mental health, physical health, relationships, work and kids. There are podcasts, guided meditations and exercises available on the website as well.

URL: https://www.mindful.org

Mindfulness Everyday

This is an organization with a website offering programs regarding mindfulness. There is a special focus on parenting with mindfulness as well as links to an abundance of resources. There are also lists of books to aid you on your journey of mindfulness and many opportunities to attend conferences or access teachings about mindful living.

URL: http://www.mindfulnesseveryday.org/resourcesforparents.html



This website and app is committed to mindfulness through the promotion of mindful movement and gentle stretches, highlighting the importance of restful sleep, providing a soundtrack to peace, meditation and sleep and teaching meditation techniques. The app was voted App of the Year in 2017 and has a free trial to begin your mindful journey

URL: https://www.calm.com


Coholic, D. A., McAlister, H., Eys, M., Sugeng, S., & Smith, D. (2018). A mixed method pilot study exploring the benefits of an arts-based mindfulness group intervention with adults experiencing anxiety and depression. Social Work in Mental Health, 16(5), 556-572.

Foundation for a Mindful Society. (2018). Getting Started with Mindfulness. Retrieved from https://www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/

Positive Psychology Program. (2017). 22 Mindfulness Exercises, Techniques & Activities for Adults. Retrieved from https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/mindfulness-exercises-techniques-activities/

Sheridan, C. (2016). The Mindful Nurse: Using the Power of Mindfulness and Compassion to Help You Thrive in Your Work. Charleston, SC: Rivertime Press.

Wright, R., Roberson, K., Onsomu, E. O., Johnson, Y., Dearman, C., Blackman Carr, L. T., Price, A. A., & Duren-Winfield, V. (2018). Examining the Relationship between Mindfulness, Perceived Stress, and Blood Pressure in African-American College Students. Journal of Best Practices in Health Professions Diversity: Education, Research & Policy, 11(1), 13-30.