The world around us is a distracting and noisy place. We are bombarded with information and technology all day, every day. If we are not conscious, this chaos informs our lives and our relationships. Mindfulness presents us with a way to manage the confusion. Rather than try and change the pace at which the world around us is moving, we can change the way we navigate the world.
Mindfulness is an especially effective activity for families, not only because it strengthens relationships and increases respect, but also because it allows us to connect amid the noise. To focus on what is important and bring the family together.
It is ironic that the word “connected” is used to describe the world today. There is an illusion that social media and technology have allowed us to maintain connections and contact like never before. The irony is that we are actually less connected, most relationships play out in the digital sphere in fragmented interactions. And our attention to digital devices has eroded our ability to be present and nurture the relationships with the people sitting right next to us. Connecting in person, being together and conscious of each other, is now a skill that we need to teach kids. Knowing how to shut the noise off and to be present and attentive is crucial to success in life, and it also leads to a happier home.
Mindfulness nurtures ourselves and our surroundings. The impact that mindfulness has on families is hard to measure. But if you consider the negative impact that digital devices have on your family’s interactions, and then imagine what it would be like to have something that has the reverse effect, you have a sense of what will happen by incorporating mindfulness into your family life. Where digital divides us, mindfulness bonds us.
In addition to bonding, our kids will learn to connect and cope with each other, to navigate challenges and to discuss them as they are doing so. Mindfulness guides us through the ups and downs by creating empathy, understanding and patience. And the best part is, mindfulness benefits both the person navigating a challenge and the person collaterally impacted.