Metacognition is the ability to think about your thinking. It is the ability to observe and tap into emotional intelligence. It is an awareness of one’s own thought processes and an understanding of the patterns behind them. Observing our thoughts and knowing we have the power to either grab onto one line of thinking or let it go offers power and freedom.
Mindfulness is for kids and adults. Thoughts are always busy. But you can choose whether to engage with them or just observe them briefly before letting them go again. It’s up to you whether you believe these thoughts or simply recognize them with a smile as an old friend who has a habit of dropping by uninvited and telling tall tales.
Thoughts are like little voices inside your head. Like a first-class storyteller that cannot stop, this voice just keeps on talking. It interferes in everything and has an opinion or a judgment about everything: about you; about the rest of the world; about your clothes; and about what you eat, do, or should have done. Thoughts are about what you find difficult or fun; about what you want to do and be or about that annoying incident last week; about the past, present, and future: everything passes along the conveyor belt of worries. Thoughts and feelings tend to hang out together they rarely see eye to eye, but they tend to tell the same stories and support each other in old outdated patterns.
In order to manage our mind space, we must get to know our thoughts and be aware of our thinking patterns. Mindfulness can help open up awareness in this area and can help slow the flow of thoughts, fears, and worries. Tuning into our breath is the fastest method of connecting to internal thoughts and feelings. Taking deep breaths can slow patterns of anger, frustration, fear, or worry. Slowing our breath slows the flood of negativity and gives us the power to change our focus.
Inhale . . . (pause) exhale . . . (pause) inhale (pause) . . . exhale (pause) . . . It’s that simple.
Learning how to slow our breathing and teach our children to do the same is proving to be beneficial. We must regularly practice mindfulness and as we do it becomes easier to manage our thoughts and feelings during more stressful moments. With practice, we can learn how to self-regulate our inner world. Here are some of the benefits of mindfulness using the power of breath:
Grown-ups and children show improved concentration skills which help them remember things better.
Helps children be less impulsive and more focused.
Allows for a sense of control over the inner world for both adults and kids.
Helps strengthen mind muscles and increases metacognition skills.
Helps increase levels of efficiency.
Has been shown to increase kindness in classrooms.
Make mindfulness a part of your personal routine and be sure to involve others who are like-minded.
Let’s all engage in regular mindfulness practices and breathe your way to feeling good!