A Mindfulness Program
On November 12, Taarika Foundation’s Five Senses Art Program led a painting workshop aimed at teaching the importance of gratitude through mindfulness and art. The event was supported by a grant from the Los Altos Sunset Rotary Club.
On a brisk fall afternoon, children and parents gathered to create gratitude-themed paintings. Local art teacher Divya Eby of Colorful Moments Art School and a group of youth volunteers assisted the children with their creations.
The event was created to express the importance of gratitude this holiday season. Its aim was to teach children through art that we need to stay mindful about the people around us who help us everyday. It offered a animated setting, focused on positivity, for children to work on their paintings.
While waiting for their work to dry, the children participated in a mindful gratitude exercise led by Dr. Leena Khanzode, child and adolescent psychiatrist and founder of the Taarika Foundation.
Gratitude is Mindfulness
First the children performed a mindful listening exercise, focusing their attention on one sound out of several. In the gratitude exercise that followed, Khanzode prompted them to think of someone they were grateful for and share their thoughts with the group. Children expressed their gratitude for family, teachers and friends. They were given a brown bag with snacks after the event
Psychological research confirms that gratitude leads to more happiness and positivity in life. It helps maintain strong relationships and makes people feel needed and important. Individuals experience increased empathy, self-esteem, and a better outlook on life, says Khanzode.
Mindfulness Through Art
Teaching a child the importance of gratitude is vital to their identity and mentality. Learning that through art, makes it a fun experience for children.
Taarika Foundation’s mission is to raise awareness in youth about mental health care and improve their social-emotional skills through mindfulness workshops. It teaches Stress Management through Mindfulness to tweens and teens, and Mindfulness through Art to younger children through its Five Senses program.
Through past events such as a Valentine’s Day Rock Art Workshop, the Five Senses program introduced loving, kindness, mindfulness exercises. A July 4th cookie-bake off gave kids the opportunity to participate in a mindful eating exercise with treats they had baked.
Taarika Foundation will run more mindfulness workshops to help children and young adults with their mental health.