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Practise meditation & mindfulness with these tips

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Are you looking for more ways to practise meditation and mindfulness in your daily life? Kids Help Phone collaborated with Smiling Mind, a leading prevention-focused mental health not-for-profit organization in Australia, to give young people in Canada access to new, self-guided tools and resources.

Meditation and mindfulness are similar. They’re both about giving your full attention to the present moment in an open and non-judgmental way. They can help you relax, focus, ground yourself, build a self-care routine and more.

It can be helpful to practise meditation and mindfulness using self-guided tools. You can check out the info and resources from Smiling Mind and Kids Help Phone below for support building your skills.

How can I practise meditation and mindfulness?

Watch videos

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment with openness, curiosity and without judgment. Watch this video to learn more.

[Narrator] Just as exercise helps us take care of our bodies, mindfulness is a skill that keeps our minds healthy. Mindfulness helps us perform at our best, and better navigate the inevitable ups and downs of life. Mindfulness is noticing and being curious about what’s happening right now. It’s the opposite of being on autopilot. When our bodies are doing one thing and our minds are somewhere else, often thinking about the past or worrying about the future. When we’re mindful, we engage our senses deliberately and we really take in the things that we can see, smell, hear, taste, and touch. Just as we can build our muscles by going to the gym, we can build our mindfulness muscle through regular practice known as meditation. All it takes is a few minutes a day to see the benefits. So find the time. Your mind will thank you for it.

Why do we need mindfulness?

Mindfulness helps us focus better and think more clearly. It can help us to relax, reduce stress and may improve sleep. Why else do we need mindfulness? Watch out this video to learn more.

[Narrator] Our minds are great at distracting us. Much of the time, our minds are back in the past or off in the future, planning, worrying, reminiscing, daydreaming. On top of this, most of us are leading busy and stressful lives and technology has made it harder than ever to find the off switch. Practicing mindfulness can help us better manage the competing demands of our busy lives and the benefits of doing so are pretty impressive. Mindfulness helps us focus better and think more clearly. It helps us relax, reduce stress, and may improve sleep. It can also help us better access our creativity and be more productive. Mindfulness also helps us make better choices by allowing us to respond with awareness rather than habitually react to the events of our daily lives. Not only that, mindfulness can make us a whole lot happier. What are you waiting for?

How to practise mindfulness

Meditation is easier than you may think. Do you want to learn how to practise mindfulness and build a habit? Watch this video to get started.

[Narrator] There are lots of myths about meditation. Like, you have to sit cross-legged on the floor, you have to stop thinking, it requires a huge time commitment, or it’s only for people who aren’t coping. None of these are true. Meditation is easier than you may think. You stop, place your attention on one thing like your breath and try to hold it there. When you become distracted, which you will, simply notice and bring your attention back. Becoming distracted doesn’t mean that you’ve stopped meditating, losing focus and refocusing over and over again is meditation. You can also practice mindfulness by bringing your full attention to everyday activities like brushing your teeth or eating your lunch. Mindfulness isn’t hard, the hardest part is remembering to do it and doing it regularly. Find a way of being mindful that you enjoy and practice as often as you can.

Try audio

You can try Smiling Mind’s audio meditations if you’d like to practise mindfulness through a guided experience. You can listen to these meditations in English and / or Arabic. Click the play button on the meditation exercise you’d like to try below!

English

Smiling Starfish

A great way to start to develop the skill of mindfulness is by practicing paying attention to our body. Our body is always with us. Suitable for 6 years and under.

Tamblyn (00:00):
Hi, it's Tamblyn here. Welcome to Smiling Mind. We'd like to take you on a little journey to the land of mindfulness. The land of mindfulness is a place deep inside you, where you're safe and strong. To get started, get into your comfortable meditation position, either sitting on the floor or on a pillow, with your back nice and straight.

Tamblyn (00:28):
Now, make a starfish with one of your hands and hold it out in front of you. Spread your fingers out nice and wide. Using your pointer finger on your other hand, gently trace the outline of your starfish hand, starting with the base of your thumb. Move very slowly as you trace up and down each finger.

Tamblyn (01:08):
Now, have a go at breathing as you outline your starfish. Breathe in as you trace up along each finger, and breathe out as you trace back down. Continue this gentle breathing until you've traced along all your five fingers.

Tamblyn (01:41):
Now, notice yourself sitting here on the floor or pillow. Give your hands a little shake, and then rest them in your lap. As we come to the end of this exercise, remember that you can use your hand to practice starfish breathing whenever you like. Your hand is always with you. I'm going to ring a bell to end this meditation. When you can no longer hear the ringing, gently open your eyes.

Golden Glow

Imagine, with each breath in, that you are breathing in the beautiful golden light of the sun. This golden light inside you feels like a soft, warm blanket. Suitable for 12 years and under.

Speaker 1: Lying down, make yourself comfortable. When you're ready, gently close your eyes. Take a big breath in now, imagining that you're smelling a beautiful flower. And slowly let your breath out. Imagining that you're gently blowing a candle out. [00:00:30] Take another big breath in and slowly let your breath out. Good. Let's do that one more time. Take a big breath in and a slow long breath out.

Speaker 1: Notice that your body [00:01:00] is starting to feel very relaxed. Almost like your body is sinking down into the bed or floor under you. Your body begins to feel warm and heavy.

Speaker 1: Imagining now, in your mind, [00:01:30] that you're at the beach. You're at the beach with someone special, someone who's kind and who loves you very much. Your someone special might be someone in your family, one of your parents, or a brother or a sister perhaps, or it might be a special friend, [00:02:00] or maybe it's your pet. It can be anyone you feel safe and happy with.

Speaker 1: You've had a fun day at the beach with your someone special. [00:02:30] You played together in the water. You made sandcastles together. It's now late in the afternoon and you're sitting together on the sand, resting, looking out over the ocean.

Speaker 1: [00:03:00] You notice the sun moving slowly down in the sky. A big ball of golden light sinking slowly into the ocean. [00:03:30] The sky is filled with color. One minute it's orange and then slowly it changes to a deep red and then to a beautiful, bright pink. You can't believe how beautiful the sky looks.

Speaker 1: [00:04:00] Imagining now with each breath in that you're breathing in the beautiful golden light of the sun as it continues to sink slowly down into the ocean below. [00:04:30] The golden light of the sun washes over your whole body. It starts at the top of your head and moves slowly down over your face. It washes [00:05:00] over your eyes, your cheeks and into your neck. This golden light feels warm and soft inside your body.

Speaker 1: [00:05:30] As you continue to breathe in this warm, golden light from the sun, it melts further down into your body, all through your chest and [00:06:00] tummy and all through your upper back and lower back.

Speaker 1: [00:06:30] This warm golden light continues to move slowly down into your upper arms, your lower arms and all the way down into your hands and fingers. [00:07:00] The golden light now moves down into your upper legs, your knees, your lower legs and all the way down into your feet and toes.

Speaker 1: [00:07:30] The sun is sinking all the way down into the ocean. It's going to sleep now. The sun needs to rest so that it can light up the sky once more tomorrow. [00:08:00] As the sun sinks down into the ocean, it's getting darker outside now. The golden light of the sun is still inside your body, filling it with warmth. All of your muscles and bones are glowing. [00:08:30] They feel soft, warm and relaxed. [00:09:00] This golden light inside you feels like a soft, warm blanket over your whole body. You feel sleepy after your day at the beach. [00:09:30] You stretch your body out and allow yourself to settle down into the soft sand beneath you as you drift off into a peaceful, restful sleep.

Thought Catcher

Tonight teddy or pillow will hold on to any difficult thoughts and feelings for you so that you don’t have to worry about them until morning. A little bit like a dream catcher, but for your thoughts and emotions. Suitable for 9 years and under.

Speaker 1: Welcome back to Smiling Mind. This meditation prepares you for a good night's sleep. It's best done before bedtime when you're comfortably lying in bed. You might want to grab your favorite teddy for this meditation. Or, if you don't have a teddy, then grab a comfy pillow.

Speaker 1: Now, lay down in your bed and get really comfortable. [00:00:30] Give your teddy or pillow a big hug, and when you're ready, you can close your eyes. You are snug and warm in bed. Feel how the bed and your teddy or pillow are helping to keep you safe and warm, snug and supported, warm and [00:01:00] safe here in bed. You've had a really busy day and now that day is coming to an end. Your body and mind have had to work very hard today.

Speaker 1: So let's take a few deep breaths together to help them relax. You can put one hand on your belly [00:01:30] and then start to breathe deeply. Feel your belly rise and then fall with your breath. Rise and fall. Rise and fall. Feel your body relaxing. [00:02:00] Feel your mind relaxing, breathing deeply.

Speaker 1: Now, use both hands to hug your teddy or pillow tightly. Tonight, teddy or pillow has a special [00:02:30] job to do. Tonight, teddy or pillow will hold onto all your thoughts and feelings for you so that you don't have to worry about them until morning. A little bit like a dream catcher, but for your thoughts and feelings. So when you have a thought or a feeling, give your teddy or pillow a little squeeze, [00:03:00] and then let the thought or feeling flow over to them. Teddy or pillow will hold all your thoughts and feelings safe and secret.

Speaker 1: Just give teddy or pillow a little squeeze when a thought or feeling comes along so that you can feel calm [00:03:30] so that you can rest. Your teddy or pillow will be here with you all night, right by your side, keeping you safe, holding your thoughts and feelings safe until the morning.

Speaker 1: [00:04:00] Your mind is getting quiet. Your body is warm and relaxed. You are safe here in bed with your teddy or pillow. [00:04:30] You are snug and safe. Your mind is quiet. Your body is warm and relaxed, safe and snug with teddy or pillow by your side. [00:05:00] It's time to sleep. Drifting gently into sleep. Good night.

Body Scan Bubble Journey

This is a general meditation that you can listen to daily. It uses a glowing bubble to pay attention to different parts of your body. Suitable for 9 years and under.

Speaker 1: Daily mindfulness guide. Get ready to do a few minutes of meditation by lying on your back on the floor with your arms flopped comfortably on the floor beside you, or by sitting cross-legged on a cushion on the floor. If you are sitting, make sure your back is straight and let your hands rest softly in your lap. Now, close your eyes and take a minute to settle into your [00:00:30] posture. You might want to rock backward or forward or side to side just slightly to make sure that you're comfortable. You're going to try to hold this position for the rest of the exercise.
Breathe deeply, deeper than you usually breathe. Take three of these big breaths, feeling the air [00:01:00] go deep down into your belly every time you breathe in. With your next deep breath, imagine you're breathing in a glowing bubble. What color is your bubble? Feel how the bubble's glow makes your belly feel warm [00:01:30] and relaxed. With your next big breath in, move the bubble all the way down to your feet. Feel how the bubble's glow relaxes your feet. Now with your breath, allow the bubble to float up to your lower legs and then up to your thighs as it relaxes each part of your body.
[00:02:00] With every breath you take, the bubble floats further up through your body, warming and relaxing every part that it passes. It moves up through your belly, your chest, up to your hands, your arms along the way. [00:02:30] It rises all the way up to your neck and your face, relaxing your jaw, tongue, ears and your eyes until you breathe the bubble out slowly. Feel how your whole body is now warm [00:03:00] and relaxed.
Now, put your hands on your belly and feel it rising and falling with your breath. Feel your belly rise every time you breathe in and fall every time you breathe out. You don't have to change anything about your breath. Just breathe normally. [00:03:30] You might notice that while you try to pay attention to your breath, your mind wanders or gets distracted. This is completely normal. In fact, this is what the mind does. Every time, your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breathing. (silence)
[00:04:00] You're going to try counting 10 breaths, counting one as you breathe in and two as you breathe out, three as you breathe in, four as you breathe out, all the way up to 10 and then starting again at one. (silence)
[00:04:30] With every breath, feel how you become more calm and relaxed, more clear and more content. Now, bring your hands to rest in your lap or on the floor next to you, and [00:05:00] see if you can feel your breath moving in and out of your body. You might feel your belly rising, your chest expanding or your breath coming into your nostrils. Pick one spot to focus on. Try to keep your concentration on this spot as you do another round of counting your breaths, counting one as you breathe in, [00:05:30] two as you breathe out, all the way up to 10 as we did before. (silence)
Remember that it's normal if your [00:06:00] mind wanders or gets distracted. When this happens, just bring your attention back to counting your breaths. Now, bring your attention to the room that you're in. Listen to the sounds around you. Feel yourself lying on the floor or sitting [00:06:30] on the cushion. Well done. You've just put a big smile on your mind. A bell will signal the end of the exercise. When you're ready, you can open your eyes and go on your way with a smile on your mind.

Arabic

Mindful Listening

This mindful listening practice uses music and sounds of nature to bring you into the present moment and prompts you to remember to be kind to yourself. Suitable for 12 years and over. This meditation is recorded in Arabic.

توقف لحظة للعثور على وضعية تساعدك على الشعور بالاسترخاء ولكن أيضًا تظل متيقظًا إلى حد ما (3 ثوانٍ)
يمكنك الجلوس أو الوقوف أو الإسترخاء ايهما تفضل .
‏يمكنك فتح عينيك تليين نظرك أو يمكنك إغلاق عينيك (3 ثوانٍ) .
قد ترغب في أن تأخذ أنفاسًا طويلة وبطيئة بينما تستقر في هذه الممارسة.
تنفس ببطء و ‏ الزفير ‏ببطء (6 ثواني).
إذا شعرت أن التنفس منشط للغاية فيمكنك ترك ذلك .
بخلاف ذلك خذ نفسآ واحدٍ او اثنين من الأنفاس ‏اللطيفة والبطيئة واسمح لنفسك بالوصول بالكامل إلى هذه اللحظة ستة ثواني
‏الآن أبدأ في الاستماع إلى الموسيقى والأصوات الطبيعية (20 ثانية)
لاحظ كيف تجعلك تشعر في عقلك وفي جسدك (15 ثانية)
انتبه حقا إلى الأصوات المختلفة التي يمكنك سماعها (15 ثانية)
ما اكثر ما يلفت انتباهك ؟
ربما الطيور (15 ثانية).
صوت الماء .
‏صوت النسيم اللطيف الذي يهب عبر اشجار . (15 ثانية)
حاول الاستماع إلى الأصوات دون تحليلها (3 ثوانٍ) .
مع التركيز أكثر على التجربة السمع معرفة ما إذا كان يمكنك الاستمتاع التقدير القدرة على السمع حقا (20 ثانية).
إذا كان عقلك مشتتًا ، مشتتا بالافكار فأبحث عما إذا كان بإمكانك ببساطة ملاحظة وأعاده تركيز انتباهك برفق الاستماع إلى الأصوات.
فعل ذلك في كل مرة تشتت انتباهك وكن لطيفا مع نفسك كما تفعل (20 ثانية)
هل تستطيع أن تلاحظ من أين تبدأ الأصوات المختلفة وأين تتوقف . (20 ثانية).
المسافات بين الاصوات وكذلك الأصوات نفسها (20 ثانية)
بينما تستمر في الاستماع أدعوك لاخذلاحظه للتواصل مع نفسك
قد تضع راحة يدك برفق على قلبك (10 ثواني)
كن فضوليا بشأن شعورك وانت تفعل هذا (10 ثواني)
هل يمكنك أن تقدم لنفسك بعض الرعاية والعطف من خلال لفتة المس هذة ؟ (10 ثواني)
ربما ‏تذكر نفسك بأنك تبذل اقصى ى جهدك (10 ثواني)
ربما تذكر نفسك انه من المهم أن تأخذ وقتًا طويلًا لنفسك وأن نبطئ وتراجع نفسك (10 ثواني)
يكافح الجميع أحيانا (10 ثواني).
انظر ما إذا كان بإمكانك حقا تذوق هذه الرعاية والعطف الذي تقدمها لنفسك والاستمتاع بها (10 ثواني)
‏في غضون قليله سيقع الجرص غضون بمناسبة نهاية هذه الممارسة تحقق مما إذا كان بإمكانك الاستمرار في الاستماع حتى لا تسمع الرنين بعد ذلك.

Pause and Reset with the Breath

This short practice involves taking a few longer slower breaths, before allowing the breath to settle, and noticing sensations of the breath in the body. Suitable for 12 years and over. This meditation is recorded in Arabic.

توقف لحظة للعثور على وضعية تساعدك على الشعور بالاسترخاء ولكن أيضًا تظل متيقظًا إلى حد ما ... (ثانيتان)

يمكنك الجلوس أو الوقوف أو الاستلقاء ، أيهما تفضل ... (2 ثانية)

ويمكنك أن تفتح عينيك وتنعيم نظراتك أو تغمض عينيك ... (3 ثوانٍ)

الآن ، استقر على هذه الممارسة بأخذ ثلاثة أنفاس طويلة وبطيئة ... (6 ثوانٍ)

معرفة ما إذا كان يمكنك السماح للجسم أن ينعم قليلاً مع كل زفير…. (6 ثوان)

أثناء التنفس ، لاحظ بعض نقاط الاتصال الجسدي. ربما تلاحظ شعور قدميك على الأرض ، ويداك تستريحان في حضنك ... (6 ثوانٍ)

اسمح لأنفاسك أن تستقر على إيقاعها الطبيعي الآن ... (5 ثوانٍ)

انظر ما إذا كان يمكنك ببساطة ملاحظة حركة أنفاسك في جسمك ، داخل وخارج ... (5 ثوانٍ)

إدراك أن جسمك يتنفس من تلقاء نفسه دون الحاجة إلى فعل أي شيء ... (5 ثوانٍ)

أخيرًا ، خذ دقيقة للتحقق مع نفسك. لاحظ ما إذا كان أي شيء قد تغير - جسديًا أو عاطفيًا أو عقليًا - بغض النظر عن مدى دقته (10 ثوانٍ)

سوف يرن جرس للإشارة إلى نهاية هذا التمرين القصير. حاول الاستمرار في الاستماع حتى لا تسمع الرنين بعد الآن.

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If you would like support with meditation, mindfulness or anything else, you can reach out to Kids Help Phone 24/7.

Kids Help Phone would like to thank Smiling Mind for their partnership, sharing their resources with young people in Canada and supporting youth mental health!

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