At Family Youth Intervention’s Basic Center Shelter, we often teach our clients about mindfulness and give them the opportunity to practice mindfulness techniques. Research has shown that individuals who practice mindfulness report less symptoms of depression and have demonstrated better ability to sustain attention (Chambers, et al. 2008). Clients have told us they feel more relaxed and able to think more clearly after practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness can also help reduce and manage anxiety.
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in the current moment. To be mindful is to be aware of where we are and what is going on around us while accepting and acknowledging our feelings, thoughts and physical sensations calmly and without judgement.
Mindfulness takes a concerted effort and practice. There any many wonderful, FREE apps you can download to guide you in mindfulness practices. One app we often use when introducing clients to mindfulness is Calm. Other apps clients have given positive feedback on are Oak, Mindshift, and Breathe. Mindful.org is a fantastic resource as well, full of information about the research in the field of mindfulness as well as offering guidelines for practice.
Whether you are hoping to wind down from the day, fall asleep more easily, clear your head so you can study or just need a reset, a brief mindfulness session may be just what you need! You may even want to begin a family tradition of spending a few minutes a day together in meditation.
For an extra boost during your mindfulness work, try diffusing essential oils such as lavender, sandalwood, frankincense or ylang ylang.
If you have any tips to enhance mindfulness, we would love to hear them!
Tammy Wagstaff, MA, NCC, ACS, LPC
Family Youth Interventions – Basic Center