Mindfulness for Mental Health: 4 Exercises to Stay Connected and Healthy With Your Whole Family
Improving your mental health doesn’t have to be a solo endeavor. Practicing mindfulness is associated with a number of mental health benefits and has been shown to have positive impacts on strengthening family bonds. Life will always be full of ups and downs but by placing an emphasis on improving mental health and practicing mindfulness, you and your family can create a healthy, close-knit family dynamic. In this blog, we’ll dive into four evidence-based mindfulness exercises to help foster well-being a harmonious environment.
Benefits of Mindfulness Practices
Having been around for roughly 2,500 years, the benefits of mindfulness are well documented. In a nutshell, mindfulness is being present in the moment. It is learning to have an intentional awareness of what is going on around and within you. Practicing mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress, improve emotional regulation, increase self-awareness, reduce anxiety, and enhance concentration among others.
Research published J. David Creswell and Emily K. Lindsay demonstrates that mindful breathing can significantly reduce stress and enhance overall well-being. Encourage your family to gather together in a quiet space, close their eyes, and breath. As you all inhale and exhale, focus on each breath - its coming and going. This simple yet transformative exercise can help promote a sense of calm and helps to center the thinking.
Foster positivity and strengthen family bonds with a gratitude circle. backed by research on the psychological benefits of gratitude, a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology highlights that practicing gratitude leads to increased happiness and well-being. Expressing gratitude as a family creates an environment of appreciation and interconnectedness. It helps to shift the focus away from the negative and towards the positive.
Improve family communication through mindful listening. Insights from a study in the Journal of Counseling Psychology found that active listening is positively associated with relationship satisfaction. Designate time for electronic-device-free family conversations, encouraging each person to actively listen while the others speak. Focusing on what is being said instead of waiting for your turn to talk. This practice fosters empathy, understanding, and a deeper connection.
Research published in Psychological Science confirms what we have always known - spending time in nature is therapeutic. Nature exposure positively influences mental well-being. Take your family into the great outdoors! Lead your family on a nature walk, encouraging them to engage their senses and appreciate their natural surroundings.
Integrating evidence-based mindfulness exercises into your family routine, you not only prioritize mental health but also create a nurturing environment that supports the well-being of every family member.
If your family members are struggling with their mental or behavioral health, call Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center today. Our licensed clinical staff is ready to answer questions about treatment and provide the necessary resources you need.