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Art Therapy Mindfulness

Mindful Observing in a Busy World

Observe means to look at carefully and attentively.

Mindfulness is the ability to be focused yet relaxed at the same time. The ability to be present comes from attentive focus on your breath. Focusing on your breathing takes your mind off of your mind, and allows your mind to rest as your breathing takes over for a little while.

To mindfully observe means you are in the state of mindfulness while you are looking at something.

Noticing

It is beneficial to “notice” as an activity to develop focus in mindfulness. One activity you can try is noticing the room around you.

Take a moment to center in with a few deep breaths. Set your intention for the activity to notice your environment. Notice the objects in the room, their colors, shapes, textures. Notice the tiniest details that you may have never noticed before. Spend about 5 minutes just noticing. Then come back to center with a few deep breaths.

This activity helps to train your brain to slow down and notice the present moment.

observing

Observing

Another activity you can do to help strengthen your mind is to do mindful observing.

For this activity students were shown a video of multiple bubbles, different colors and sizes. Then students were prompted to only observe certain bubbles, all while all the bubbles were moving around the screen.

Spending time observing while other things are going on is a master skill that will have benefits way into the future. Being able to focus in even when there are distracts around is super important, especially in a world where digital realities consume our time, and attention.

Consider spending at least 5 mins a day doing some type of mindfulness activity, and share this with your children! We all benefit when we are mindful.

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Art Therapy Divine I Am SEL

Mindful Lines

Mindful

How can Lines be Mindful?

Being mindful is the ability to be in the present moment, acknowledging your thoughts and feelings but not identifying with them. Meaning do not hold on to the thought and become consumed by it and the way it makes you feel.

I teach my students about what it means to be mindful, and how important of a skill it is to be able to step back from thoughts and give your brain a break for at least 10 minutes a day.

So the idea of mindful lines simply means being present with the line. Allowing the line to move as it will and be in the moment with it.

A lot of our life is spent processing experiences, but its not usually in the moment. I shared the analogy of playing a sport. When you are playing and in the moment, you are not processing how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking about. You are simply in the moment. It is not until after the moment is over that your thoughts and emotions begin to catch up.

When you create a mindful line, you want to go slow enough that your body is processing your marking making in real time… the present.

Creating mindful lines is a process oriented activity that allows a person to take 10 mins out of their day to separate their awareness from their thoughts and be present in the moment.

Power of Presence

Giving our brain time to slow down and not be inundated by processing thoughts and feelings, allows your body and mind recovery time so to speak.

I tell my students, your brain isn’t going to shut itself off for you. It isn’t going to just say, “I’m on overload, I need to shut off for a while to recover.” They understand how that would make us robots, and how important it is for each person to take control of their minds wellbeing. Self care is just as important as self actualization.

There is value in rest.

Mindful Art Process

Get a pen and paper… now take a few deep breaths to center yourself to this present moment.

Now slowly allow the pen to create a line. Without rushing, be present with whichever way the pen moves. Each line unfolding as you let go of thoughts and focus on allowing. Take deep breaths as you move the pen across the paper. Allow yourself to flow and be surprised with the outcome of each mark.

Now listen to yourself… Do you want to add color? Do you want to make lines thicker? Are you complete?

You know when your line is complete. Its in the way you feel.

Doing mindfulness activities at any age can greatly affect our ability to focus and regulate our emotions. Each time you do a mindfulness activity, you are training and strengthening the neuropathways in your brain. You are literally reprograming how you respond to situations. This is aligned with the SEL competencies: Self awareness, Self Management, Social Awareness, and Responsible Decision Making. And all it takes is 10 mins a day.