Quick Mindfulness Strategies for Dealing with Anxiety and Stress- Part 3 Hand Washing Meditation

Many psychologists believe that our emotions begin with a physical sensation, positive or negative. When we focus on positive sensations that are calming, we can emotionally become calm.

Today, our mindfulness practice will focus on positive physical sensations to mindfully be in the moment and anchor us in the present. We are going to do it while taking part in what the medical profession says is the #1 infection control method, washing your hands. However, we will do it mindfully.

Washing Hands Meditation

When we wash our hands in warm water, it opens the blood vessels and tricks your brain out of a stressful state.

– When you go to wash your hands, be mindful of the sensation of the water and soap as your rub your palms, between your fingers and on top of your hands. Breath deeply allowing your breathing enhance the feel of water and soap.

– How does this moment feel?

– How is it making the rest of your body feel?

Repeat every time you wash your hands today.

Quick Mindfulness Strategies for Dealing with Anxiety and Stress- Part 2 Mindful Object

Recently, our days seem to be filled with thoughts flitting between lamenting what has happened in the past to what may happen in the future. Our lives have been turned upside down both at work and at home. The endless decisions and changes are putting us at constant high alert and anxiety.

Mindfulness is returning your attention to this present moment; not worrying about the future and not lamenting the past, just appreciating this very moment and appreciating the breath.

We need to give ourselves a reminder and can do this through the Mindful Object Meditation.

Mindful Object Meditation

Once you are dressed for the day, choose an object you are wearing or keeping in a pocket to be your mindful object. It can be a ring, your id badge, necklace, tie, shoes, your watch, a button on your shirt, an item in your pocket, etc. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it is something you will see several times.

During the day, at any point you notice your mindful object, touch it, take 3 *deep mindful breaths paying attention to the air flowing in and out your body.

*Deep Mindful Breath- Inhale for a count of 5, hold for a count of 1 and exhale for a count of 8.

This simple meditation takes only seconds but it gives mindful focus for those few seconds and calms the mind so that you can be the best person possible.

Day 25- #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge

Today, is a simple mindfulness strategy that helps with mindful focus; The Hand Exercise. Items you need are simple. You just need your hands.

⁃ First, have children find a comfortable sitting or lying down position.

⁃ Get them to take a few deep mindful breaths to help them relax.

⁃ Then, have them hold their hands tightly for about 10 seconds, squeezing tightly and release them slowly.

⁃ Now, get your child to focus on how their hands feel; staying focused for as long as you can or until the feeling goes away.

⁃ Repeat 5 times

⁃ End with a few deep mindful breaths and proceed with your day.

If they find themselves becoming anxious during the day, have them have a mindful break and repeat this strategy to help them find peace in your day.

Don’t forget to share your child’s mindfulmoment and successes by using the hashtag #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge in the comments, on Twitter @Ed_Tmprince or on Facebook at Education’s Voice – Mindfulness ( https://www.facebook.com/educationsvoice/ ).

Day 19- #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge

On average, children smile over 400 times a day and happy adults smile 40-50 times a day. It’s been proven that smiling reduces stress and stimulates the brain’s reward mechanisms.

Children tend to mirror what they see in their role models.  In these worrying times, we need to be conscious of what we are modelling to our children.  

Mindful Smiling

  • Ask your child, “What is a smile?”. Take time to discuss their thoughts.
  • Invite them to look into a mirror and explore their smile.
  • Use questions to prompt their exploration: “How does your face feel when you smile?”, How does your body feel when you smile?”, “How do others look when they smile?” and “ How does the smiles of others make you feel?”
  • Set a smiling challenge. Every time they see someone smiling, they put a token in the Smiling Jar. If your family reaches a given target, everyone gets a small treat.

Don’t forget to share your child’s mindfulmoment and successes by using the hashtag #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge in the comments, on Twitter @Ed_Tmprince or on Facebook at Education’s Voice – Mindfulness ( https://www.facebook.com/educationsvoice/ ).

Day 6- #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge

Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, says that mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment. He goes on to say, “It’s easy to stop noticing the world around us. It’s also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’ – caught up in our thoughts without stopping.

The key to mindfulness is not being in the present every moment of the day. That is not possible and not appropriate for a successful life; you do need some time to reflect in order to improve and prepare for the future. The key is being able to refocus yourself in the present at your will and not at the will of your meandering thoughts.
Refocusing without judgement is a positive mindful activity that allows children to take a breather, allow a moment to step back from the work and then continue in a mindful way that allows for maximum progress.

One way to help children to remain focused is to use Colour Meditation.

Colour Meditation
– At the beginning of the day, get each child to choose a colour and decide to notice that colour on a given signal (This could be the ringing of a bell, code word, etc.)

– Have children take a minute to notice the objects and people wearing that colour. (I like to choose colours that I think will be more difficult to come across as it does make me really stay focused in the moment.)


– Guide them by asking them questions:
-Have you noticed something or someone you have never noticed before?
-How many different things are you noticing? (I always surprise myself when I buy a new car and all of a sudden you notice that car EVERYWHERE!)

– Have the children make a mental note about this #mindfulmoment and congratulate themselves for being in the present and proceed with their learning, work or play.

With this mindful task, you may find that the world becomes more colourful.

Don’t forget to share your child’s mindfulmoment and successes with #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge the comments, on Twitter @Ed_Tmprince or on Facebook at Education’s Voice – Mindfulness ( https://www.facebook.com/educationsvoice/ ).

Day 5- #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge

One important aspect of mindfulness in children is diverting them from the negative habit of crying, wringing of hands, screaming or whatever unhelpful habit they use in stressful situations to a positive, calming and reflective habit.

One simple strategy that seems to work for lots of children (and adults) is the Starfish Hand Meditation. It is a great way to divert and refocus the mind.

Today’s challenge is the Starfish Hand Meditation.

How to:

1- Close your eyes and breathe deeply.

2- Spread your fingers out like a starfish on one hand.

3- Take your index finger from the other hand and trace around your fingers and hand; taking deep breaths and exhaling fully as they trace.
As you do this, concentrate on only how it feels and let other thoughts float away.

4- Continue until you feel relaxed and calm.

Top Tips:

– I usually tell children to breathe in when they trace up a finger and breathe out when they trace down the finger.

– I also tell children to slightly linger and push a little harder when they get to the webbing between the thumb and index finger. This point is considered the acupuncture point called Union Valley. By stimulating this point, it is suppose to help reduce muscle tension and relieve stress

– It is important that you share these strategies, if possible, when the child is in a calm state and practice in a calm state. Then encourage its use when signs of distress appear.

Encourage your child to do it whenever they are feeling anxious, upset, mad, etc.

Once they are calm, discuss how this strategy made them feel. How did their body feel? How long did it take to calm down.

This is one strategy I have witnessed children and ADULTS using with consistency and independently after only showing and trying the strategy once.


Don’t forget to share your child’s mindfulmoment and successes with #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge the comments, on Twitter @Ed_Tmprince or on Facebook at Education’s Voice – Mindfulness ( https://www.facebook.com/educationsvoice/ ).


Note: In order to give proper credit, I researched where this specific meditation came from. It was adapted from the Five-Finger Meditation credited to Mike Bell (pp. 87-88 in Planting Seeds).

Day 4- #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge

Superhero Mindfulness

Body language is the way that our body communicates to others and, to an extent, to ourselves.

The body language of the “Superhero Mindfulness” strategy reduces anxiety, improves children’s ability to deal with stress and boosts their self-confidence.

How To

Before you begin, discuss with your child how superheros stand, arms spread out or clinched fisted resting in hips, feet spread apart, sheet stuck out and head held high. Discuss how this makes the superhero feel powerful, calm and confident.

Now, tell your child to close their eyes and get into their superhero pose.

Have your child focus on their deep belly breaths as they pretend to be a hero.

After about a minute or two, have them open their eyes, stretch and relax.

You may want to discuss with them how they feel and what they were thinking of when they were pretending to be superheros.

Several times in the day at random points just shout “Superheros!” And everyone stops and gets into their pose (even YOU) and take some deep belly breaths before your resume with the day.

Don’t forget to share your child’s mindfulmoment and successes by using the hashtag #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge in the comments, on Twitter @Ed_Tmprince or on Facebook at Education’s Voice – Mindfulness ( https://www.facebook.com/educationsvoice/ ).

Day 3- #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge

When a person is in crisis (stressed, anxious, mad, upset, etc), they tend to tense up their muscles. This is especially true with children.

Progressive muscle relaxation helps a person to relax and become more calm and in control. Research reveals that there is a reduction in the levels of cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress when this strategy is employed.

Today, we will begin developing this strategy through a simple Squish and Relax routine.

Squish and Relax

– Have your child sit comfortably with a soft, squishy object. It can be a ball of play dough, a small stress ball, a small stuffed anima, etc. They are to hold this in their hands.

– Ask them to take a deep breath.

– Direct them to become aware of their body and instruct them to slowly move their awareness to the dough, noticing the sensations from their arms and hands.

– Tell them to squeeze tightly like they are trying to pick up a heavy weight. Have them hold this pose for a count of five, then relax.

– Repeat this cycle over a period of a minute.

– Repeat with other hand.

– Afterwards, discuss with the children how their bodies felt during and after the activity. What did they notice? How could this help them when they are angry, upset or anxious?

Don’t forget to share your child’s mindfulmoment and successes by using the hashtag #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge in the comments, on Twitter @Ed_Tmprince or on Facebook at Education’s Voice – Mindfulness ( https://www.facebook.com/educationsvoice/ ).

Day 2 #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge

For many people, the events happening around us can be scary. When people are highly anxious, the reptilian brain snaps into action and feelings of survival and negativity surface. Negativity does not help mental health and we have to make a conscious decision to be tankful for what we do have.

Gratitude (being thankful) is a fundamental component of mindfulness. Teaching children (and adults) to be thankful for the the abundance in their lives as opposed to focusing on the actual material objects is not always readily accepted in our society.

By taking the time to be grateful and lingering in the grateful moment, we start to be mindful of the good things in the world. We start to see more positive things; positivity breeds positivity. We start to see the good in people, we crave it and, when we see it, we want to repeat even more good.

Today’s challenge is to encourage thought around the good things happening in our lives and enjoying those precious moments of gratitude withe the Fab Five activity.

Fab Five

You will need:

– paper

– markers, pencil colours or crayons

How to:

1- Take some time to discuss what fabulous things they have in their lives and are thankful for having. Don’t allow your child to only focus on material things. Encourage non tangible things as well such as love from an individual, time spent with an individual or special friendships. Discuss why they are thankful for those things.

2- Have your child place their hand on the paper with their fingers spread and trace around their hands.

3- Then, in each finger, have them write and/or draw one thing they are thankful for having in their lives. In the end they will have five fabulous things that they are thankful for having.

4- In the palm, have them either draw something that represents their personality or write their name.

5- Place the completed drawing somewhere they can see often. Encourage them to look at it often during the day as a reminder to be thankful.

Don’t forget to share your child’s mindfulmoment and successes by using the hashtag #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge in the comments, on Twitter @Ed_Tmprince or on Facebook at Education’s Voice – Mindfulness ( https://www.facebook.com/educationsvoice/ ).

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