Back in the 80’s and 90’s, when mindfulness was not as commonly known, it was lumped into the “New Age” category.
In 1997, while I lived in Santa Fe NM, I was learning about the power of hypnotherapy. It was a very scary word to the world and most experienced it on stage or to help them stop smoking. I was in training to take my therapy background to a deeper level, especially with women and children. As someone who has gone through trauma in my own life, I was looking for a solution for myself. If it worked I would take it to a new level with my own clients.
In 1998 , I was ready to jump into a new niche not many had even considered.
Up to this point, I had spent time running therapy sessions, working in halfway homes, and treatment centers. I wanted to develop a different style. A style I continue to teach to this day.
Let's look at the definitions for mindfulness
Maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens
1. Hypnosis is a trancelike state that resembles sleep but is induced by a person whose suggestions are readily accepted by the subject
2. Any of the various conditions that resemble sleep.
1. The representation of an object, situation, or set of information as a chart or image
2. The formation of a mental image of something
As we can see, many of the same words are used in these descriptions.
They all strive to reach the same goal; to solve something within the mind that cannot always be solved when in a state where you cannot be aware of what is going on around or within you.
Today, I am a hypnotherapist, life coach and therapist. I use the power of the mind to help children reach mindfulness through all three tools.
All are capable of being done by ourselves with the proper guidance.
It is now 2022 and I have seen the world open up more to things that help our children and ourselves.
Mindfulness is an easy way for children to find a mindset of calmness to let them relieve themselves from the pain they may be carrying in their mind.
It is something that is easy to do and only takes a few moments. It's what we used to call a “timeout.” We all really need a timeout once in a while.
Below are ways to help your children and yourself reach a quiet state of mindfulness.
It is best to start when you're not in a crisis. It will be more effective to practice now to be prepared for the crisis later.
Step 1. Find a place that is without disturbance. A place to focus on something beautiful or imagine something calming in your mind. Quiet music may be added
Step 2. Start thinking of a pleasant place and a pleasant thought. i.e. something someone might have said to you that made you feel good
Step 3. Stay quiet with that for a few moments and focus on every part of your body. Have the child touch their heart. That is an anchor so when they are feeling bad they can touch their heart to allow the mind and senses to calm down.
Step 4. Do steps 1 - 3 daily, at the same time everyday, in the same place for at least 5 days.
Step 5. For an older child, journaling can reinforce the act of letting go of negative feelings
Step 6 Have them end with a positive thought for themselves or someone else
I choose to teach mindfulness for several reasons
Longer attention span
Higher classroom participation
A higher ability to resolve conflict
Stress release to help with other issues that may occur: depression, anxiety and PTSD