What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a state of being comprised of moment-to-moment awareness of our experiences without judgement. Another way to describe being mindful is to be present in the moment you are living in, without being overwhelmed by your thoughts.
How can we increase our mindfulness?
The journey toward being mindful often involves feeling sensations in your body and also quieting your thoughts without judgement. Many activities can increase mindfulness, such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, or a simple (mindful) walk around a park. There will be more on strategies to increase mindfulness in future blog posts!
Why should we want to increase mindfulness?
Research on mindfulness has indicated many benefits and although the majority of research studies have focused on adults, there are several studies that indicate that mindfulness can help children as well. Some benefits of mindfulness in children indicated from studies include: increased attention, reduced internalization of problems, reduced anxiety symptoms, increased self-awareness, increased ability to manage emotions (self-regulation), and increased kind thoughts (empathy, compassion) toward others.
What does this have to do with speech-language therapy!?
The goal of speech-language therapy is to help people learn and improve skills that will help them more effectively communicate with others. Our therapy can be much more effective and efficient when children are able to pay attention and be more aware of themselves and their emotions.