Mindfulness Helping Children with ADHD!
Enjoying Spring with Mindfulness!!
What a great time of year to practice Mindfulness. What is being mindful? In a few words, it’s simply enjoying the present moment…being in this moment. We often find ourselves worrying about what happened yesterday or what tomorrow will bring. Being mindful can help you relax and stay positive!
So how can we be more mindful? This technique is easy to use and you always have what you need with you…your five senses. When you use your sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch to be in the moment, you notice things that you didn’t notice before. Let me explain how to do this. Choose a place to sit down. Focus on one sense at a time (in no specific order):
Sight: Look around you. Really look around…and see as if you’re seeing everything for the first time. If you’re in a room that you know well, you’ll notice little things that you’ve never seen before, like a crack or a bump on the wall. If you’re outside, you’ll see how everything is more beautiful when you pay attention to details.
Hearing: Listen and be very quiet. It’s amazing that you can hear the wind, a fan in the other room, distant traffic, people talking outside…your breathing.
Smell: Take a deep breath and smell. What do you smell? The laundry detergent on your sweater, your shampoo, the coffee in your cup, someone’s perfume, flowers… Every room, every house has different odours.
Taste: What do you mean taste…I’m not eating or drinking anything. I know…but try it. Focus on your taste buds. What do you taste? My breakfast, coffee, lunch…yuck! Garlic!! Even the air tastes different when you change places. Taste the air inside…then go outside…is it the same?
Touch: We can touch with our hands and feel if the surface is soft or rough. We also have cells that react to touch all over our bodies. Pay attention on how your sweater feels on your skin…on your arms, shoulders and torso. You are so used to the feeling, that you don’t notice it anymore. Now…focus on how it feels to be sitting where you are. Is the chair comfortable? Soft cushions, firm cushions, wood, leather…nothing feels the same. It can also be hot or cold. You can also pay attention to every movement you make. Move your little finger very slowly. How does that feel?
You can use this technique anywhere: sitting at the office, on the drive home, at the hockey rink, on the beach, at a conference, in the lineup at the store… It will bring you in the moment and help you relax. For beginners, I usually recommend trying this technique while eating and while taking a shower. Take the time to look at the different textures and colours of your food. Smell it. Listen when it’s cooking on the stove, when you’re cutting with your knife or chewing it. Feel it in your mouth and then taste it. You are going to be amazed at how good (or bad – tried this with a burger at a popular fast food) the food is! Being mindful in the shower is a terrific way to start your day! Look at the water and the mist. Feel the hot water as it hits your head and shoulders and then goes all the way down to your feet. Taste the mist. Smell your shampoo and soap while you wash. It brings a whole new experience than just going through the motions of washing to get ready for work! It’s your personal time! We have to wash and eat anyway! So why not enjoy it!
Benefits of Mindfulness
Studies show that Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction helps with physical and mental health. It improves the immune system and helps the body be more resilient. As a psychologist, I ask myself: Will it help my clients deal with their different needs? I’ve seen that it does. It helps kids, adolescents and adults with stress, depression and anxiety. It can also help individuals with attention deficit disorder sustain their attention and diminish their distractibility. Studies have shown that using mindful meditation improves the executive functions which are located in the frontal part of the brain. The executive functions help us sustain attention, organize and plan activities, evaluate our own behaviors…and more…each day. This is the part of the brain that is mostly affected in individuals with attention deficit disorders. I think that it’s amazing that we can improve our brains by meditating and being more aware of our environment. You can read Dr. Dan Seigel’s article at: http://www.mindful.org/the-science/medicine/the-science-of-mindfulness .
So go ahead, whether it’s for when you’re preparing your garden of for taking care of you inner garden, BE MINDFUL! ! It makes you appreciate everything even more.
For more information on Mindfulness, visit www.mindful.org.
Nicole Hébert LeBlanc
Soul psychology/Psychologie de l’âme
Tel : 523-6650
Web page : spnhl.comemail :