Mindfulness means paying attention with curiosity & kindness, and without judgment. It is a tool to use to respond to life with more clarity & intention. Mindfulness helps us to live in the moment, reduce anxiety, and engage positively with the world around us. Explore below to find easy ways to incorporate mindfulness in you & your young person’s life and stay on a path of positive awareness.

10 Ways to Practice Mindfulness Daily

#1 Create A Morning Ritual

Written by Team BLOOM

  |  Reviewed by Em Morrison

Mornings can have the power to set the tone for the rest of your day.
  • When you first wake up, before looking at your phone or getting caught up by any other distractions, take a moment of quiet reflection for yourself.
  • Your morning ritual could be as simple as sitting up in your bed, eyes closed, and spending a moment or two focused on your breathing. While breathing, you can practice a simple moment of gratitude and think of something you are grateful for or set an intention (aim or focus) for your day.
  • As you develop this morning ritual, you can deepen your practice by sitting for longer periods and allowing more silence before you begin your day. You can think of this practice as a way to set yourself up for success for the day by regulating your nervous system in preparation for the day ahead.
Tips for practicing a morning ritual with your young person:
  • If you wake up your young person in the morning for school, take a few moments with them before getting out of bed to breathe deeply and calmly with their eyes closed. If you think they will prefer to try this practice independently, share this suggestion for them to develop this habit on their own.
  • At breakfast have everyone at the table name one thing they are grateful for.
  • Ask your young person to set a small, positive goal for themselves for the day, and support them in achieving it.

#2 Mindful Breathing

Remember You Are Always Breathing!

One of the easiest and most direct ways to bring your attention to the present moment is by bringing your attention to your breath. Your breath is always happening in the present moment whether you are thinking about it or not, and by bringing your attention to it, you are directly connecting yourself to the present moment as it is unfolding.

  • You can try this right now. As you take a few breaths, notice how you are breathing, if it is shallow or deep, and where in your body you feel it, whether it be in your chest, belly, or nose.
  • For a quick practice: Take three deep belly breaths in and out through your nose, focusing your attention on your inhale and exhale, noting where you feel the breath in your body. Repeat this three times and practice it as often as you need throughout the day. This practice can be especially useful in stressful circumstances.
Mindful breathing tips for practicing with them:
  • Practice listening and focusing on your breath with your young person. Try to do this with each other once a day, as well as each time you start to notice your emotions getting the best of you, especially when interacting with one another.
  • As you practice breathing in and out together, start to let each other know how your bodies are feeling: are there pains anywhere, does your breathing feel shallow or deep, is your heart beating fast or slow?
  • Doing these exercises together can help you move through the awkwardness you both may feel at first and build a deeper connection with one another. It may also help you both communicate better when you are feeling stressed or don’t see eye-to-eye on things.

#3 Mindful Listening

Practice Mindful/Active Listening
  • Many times, when someone is speaking to us, we are often caught up in our own mind thinking of what we are going to say next, without giving their words our full attention and consideration. Mindful listening is a way of listening without judgment, criticism, or interruption. Do this while at the same time as being aware of internal thoughts and reactions you may be experiencing that are actually getting in the way of people communicating with you effectively.
  • Next time you are in a conversation, try actively listening to the other person with your full attention and see what you notice. Is the conversation more enjoyable? Easier? Or something else? This type of mindful listening can lead to developing deeper and more authentic connections with others.
Tips to help your young person with mindful/active listening:
  • Practice sitting with your young person and just listening to the sounds going on around you both. You may hear the sound of a fan, rain or wind outside, or even the bustle of people moving around you. The key is starting to notice the sounds around you and developing awareness of them. You can do this inside or outside, mix it up! Decide together how much time you want to allow for your practice.
  • Talk about what you each heard, did you both hear the same things or did one of you focus more on certain sounds than the other?
  • As you start to feel more comfortable in your active listening practice, use these same guidelines only apply them to conversations you have with your young person. This can improve not only your listening skills but how well you comprehend and process what you are hearing. It is only when we slow down and turn our focus and attention to what the other person is saying, that we can truly hear them.

#4 Check in with Your Body

Tune into your Body

One of the most amazing aspects of your body is that it functions without you having to do anything — your heart beats, your lungs breathe, and your stomach processes and digests your food without you having to tell them to. Yet, your body also constantly sends you messages and feedback through different sensations that you might not always notice. It is an important tool for your health to make some time each day to tune into your body’s sensations and notice if you think it is trying to communicate something to you. Take a moment each day and check in with your body. What do you notice? Are there any pains or aches? Do you feel a sense of heaviness or lightness? Do you feel tight anywhere? By bringing your attention to your body, you are able to bring your attention to the present and also connect to the feedback and