Each month, we focus on one piece of what makes a powerful umbrella of well-being skills. In February, we are adding Mindfulness to our umbrella of well-being.

Does your child spend a lot of time ruminating on the past or worrying about the future?

When we spend a lot of time thinking about the past or future instead of being engaged in the present moment, research shows this can make us feel unhappy.

Mindfulness is our ability to pay attention to our feelings, thoughts, bodily sensations and our environment, in the moment, without labeling them as good or bad (non-judgement).

This means we aren’t feeling bad or trying to change our feelings but instead just noticing them and becoming more aware of them and the world around us. This may seem simple, but mindfulness takes practice. On average, we spend half our time thinking about something other that what we are doing in the present!

Mindfulness has been shown to have many benefits. Paying attention to the present moment can boost our mood, improve our self-confidence and help us think more clearly. It can also improve our immune system’s ability to fight disease. Mindfulness can increase brain size, specifically the parts responsible for learning, memory and empathy. It’s an important skill in our umbrella and supports development of a lot of the other Umbrella Skills.

This month we will dig deeper into how to build this skill and the foundations of mindful parenting.

In today’s rush, we all think too much — seek too much — want too much — and forget about the joy of just being.” ~Eckhart Tolle