Updated: Aug 28, 2022
I’ve been writing and teaching about mindfulness for many years now, and despite its phenomenal popularity, I still occasionally get asked “what exactly IS mindfulness?” and “how can mindfulness increase my well-being and lower my stress and anxiety?” In this article, I will explain how mindfulness empowers us, and I will share the top 5 mindfulness Superpowers I wish I had known as a kid. These have positively transformed my adult life, and now I am passionate about empowering kids and adults with the undeniable Superpowers of mindfulness!
When we practice mindfulness, we basically train ourselves to become more self-aware. The mindfulness programs I have created develop and deepen emotional intelligence and emotional awareness - which are essential skills that allow us to understand why we feel the way we do at any given moment. This brings me to mindfulness Superpower #5...
Superpower #5: Mindfulness teaches us how to be in control of our inner-landscape 100% of the time.
In other words, mindfulness gives us the key to our happiness, because it gives us the deep understanding that nothing “out there” truly has the power to make us happy. Happiness and well-being are states that arise from within. Feeling good or bad is directly related to our thinking, our feelings, our perception, our focus, our awareness, and our capacity to use the mindful tools we have at our disposal when life’s circumstances become challenging or uncomfortable. Mindfulness empowers us from within. Children who learn this early have an enormous advantage in life!
Superpower #4: Mindfulness educates us about the direct connection between our thoughts and feelings.
One of my workshops for kids is about the power of our thoughts. To demonstrate this visually, I fill two large vases with water and hold up two cardboard cut-outs of kids that fit in the vases. I tell my group of kids “these guys are twins, and they are about to share an experience.” The experience is that they were supposed to have a sleepover at their cousins’ place tomorrow, but instead, their parents decided to take them camping. I then divide the kids in two groups, each represented by one vase and one cut-out character. I ask the kids to put the cut-out character in the water, which represents the same experience they are having (sleepover is cancelled and camping is happening instead). Then one group is assigned red color drops and the other is assigned blue color drops. I ask the red group to come up with negative thoughts associated with this experience. For each negative thought, they put a drop of red in the water. The kids quickly come up with thoughts like “I hate camping! I want to see my cousins instead. There will be mosquitoes. It’s not fair!” I ask the blue group to come up with positive thoughts associated with this experience, and for each positive thought, a blue drop is put into the water. They usually come up with thoughts such as “We’ll get to roast marshmallows. We can do the sleepover another time. It will be an adventure!” When the kids can clearly see that one vase is now red and the other one is blue, I ask them “which twin do you think feels the best now?” Of course, they say the blue one. I explain to them that each twin is now seeing the world through a different filter: one is negative red, the other is positive blue. I ask them why they think the blue twin feels better, and they say, “because of his positive thinking and his attitude.” This simple demonstration shows kids that two people can experience the exact same circumstance but feel very differently about it simply by choosing to adopt a more positive attitude. This teaches them how their thoughts directly affect their feelings, moods and subsequent behaviours. When kids understand this, it empowers them like you would not believe! I have had the pleasure of seeing so many little faces light up after this simple demonstration. This is always a fun way to explain how mindfulness empowers us.
Superpower #3: Mindfulness teaches us the true purpose of discomfort.
When we practice mindfulness, we learn how to become very aware of the level of comfort or discomfort in our body. We are all naturally conditioned to want to avoid discomfort by self-regulating ourselves either with food, caffeine, alcohol, shopping, exercise, surfing the web…etc. However, learning to see discomfort as a kind alarm bell is one of the most powerful tools of mindfulness. Experiencing discomfort in our body is always a wise invitation to pay closer attention to our stressful thinking. It indicates that we are in a state of resistance and contraction. Discomfort is a gentle mindfulness bell, an invitation to breathe deeply, to let go and refocus our mind on something more aligned with our well-being. Discomfort is another reminder of how mindfulness empowers us.
Superpower #2: Mindfulness decreases stress, anxiety & depression and increases overall wellness.
A big part of mindfulness is learning how to breathe deeply, how to relax, how to meditate, how to set clear intentions and how to live in a way that’s aligned with what brings us peace, joy, vitality, and health. When we are connected to our own heart and the infinitely wise consciousness within us, our life changes in radical ways! Mindfulness is so easy and pleasant to learn, and it offers the solution to so many modern problems such as stress, anxiety, depression and more.
Superpower #1: Mindfulness gives us unshakeable confidence in our own capacity to self-regulate our moods and create our own happiness from the inside out.
This is exactly why mindfulness is so incredibly popular these days. It works! It changes lives and I have seen it with my own eyes over the past decade. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to hear the testimonies of hundreds of parents who witnessed incredibly positive changes in their children - many of which were faced with various challenges. In my opinion, mindfulness is so powerful, it should be taught in every single school. As a child, I was never taught these important skills, and so I made it my personal mission to write a mindfulness program designed specifically for kids (with short stories, fun activities, poems, and games). I first taught it my own kids, then I taught it to local kids, then I created a Certification Program to allow more teachers to share it, and more recently, I have converted this program into an easy, do-it-from-home course that parents can follow at their own pace with their kids. The program is called Wise Willy’s Secret Manual to Become a Mindful Superhero. You can download it immediately either from Amazon or from my website.
I hope this article has been helpful in demonstrating how mindfulness empowers us in a life-changing way! If you have any questions or would like to know more about my mindfulness program for kids, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Thank you for reading!