For adults and children alike, mindfulness is one of the most useful skills that a person can develop. Mindfulness is a psychological process for bringing a conscious sense to our own emotions and body in the present moment. For many of us, our minds are constantly buzzing with the many obligations and responsibilities we need to balance as well as the demands that are being made of us in that moment. Mindfulness allows a person (or a child) to relax, regulate emotions and behaviours, and let go of worries. The practice of mindfulness has been shown to improve and reduce the risk of mental illnesses, like depression and anxiety.
Getting Started with Mindfulness in Your Hot Tub
Mindfulness doesn’t take an excessive amount of time, but you will need to give yourself at least 15-20 minutes. During this time, your phone should be off and your family instructed to not disturb you.
Feel Your Body and Your Environment
As you soak in your hot tub, spread your mind through your body. Pay keen attention to just a single hand or leg, and move your attention around, so that you focus on every body part in turn. Focus on how the water and heat feel on your skin, the way your blood pulses (if you can feel it), and any aches or pains. Slow your breathing and be present in your body. When you focus on your torso, feel the way each breath pushes against the water.
Move Your Attention to Your Hot Tub
Once you’ve moved your focus through your body, it’s time to expand outwards. What does the air feel like on your face, is it cool or warm? How bright is the room? Did you start music? Even if you didn’t, take a moment to just listen to the sounds of your hot tub, your breathing, and your environment. Did you light a candle? Breathe in the scent of your environment. Your thoughts shouldn’t be on work or anywhere other than on your immediate surroundings and your body.
Helping Your Child
Explain to your child that you’re going to practice paying attention, on purpose, to the right now. As your child sits or floats in the hot tub, ask them to breathe deeply. They should try to feel the rise and fall of their chest. For some children, placing their hands on their belly help them to notice the sensation. Encourage your child to pay attention to how the air feels as it runs up through their nose and then out through their nose or mouth. They can focus on the temperature of the air. Cool air in, warm air out.
You can also guide your child through body awareness. Ask them how a certain body part feels: is it warm or cool? Does it feel relaxed or tight? How does the water feel on it? Start at their feet and move towards their head. As you bring your child’s attention out of their body and into their environment, you can encourage them to use their “spidey senses” if they’re losing attention or interest with the activity. The same way Spiderman is always attuned to everything happening around him, encourage your child to hear every sound, smell every scent, and be really aware of what they’re seeing.
More Canadians, both adults and children, are suffering from anxiety and depression. Teens of this generation, in particular, seem to be especially vulnerable to mental illness. Mindfulness can help. If you think your family could benefit from a warm, spa oasis where they can practice mindfulness, call your local hot tub expert at RnR Hot Tubs today. We’re here to answer your questions!