Mindfulness Magic - for the Itchies!
I have a touch-sensitive kid - he likes his pants just-so (not too long, never too tight, not too scratchy, etc.), he likes soft things on his body, etc. - and this morning he got in the car and started complaining about how itchy he was from the hairs that were inside his jacket, leftover from his haircut yesterday.
He was getting really worked up about it, so I pulled this mindful ninja move on him.. I was kind of shocked how well it worked, so wanted to share in case you have itchy skin or have a sensitive kid as well :)
First thing we did was to have him try to describe what the itchiness felt like. Instead of just focusing on how annoying it is and how you can't do anything about it (mind = suffering), he got to engage other parts of his brain to try and label and describe the sensations.
How many hairs do you think there are? 10
what do they feel like? like they're poking me
does it hurt? kind of
is it like 10 little swords? yeah except they're not cutting me they're just poking
do you feel like it's like you have 10 mosquito bites back there? no, not that bad, more like itchy things poking me. yeah, just like something's poking me.
on a scale of 1-10 how bad does it itch? 5
is there anything else you think you can do to help? not really, i just moved a little and it's not so bad.
So we went from what could have become a total meltdown, to him being able to get out of his suffering mind (b/c really, the itching feels SO bad mainly because we have no control over it, you know? and no control is like mind enemy #1) and into just labeling and noticing what was happening.
Now, any other morning this may not have worked, but today it did :)
And actually later in the morning, I noticed my leg & ankle were really itchy, and my scratching was just making it worse, so I laughingly tried the same thing on myself... before I even got through 10sec of just noticing it, it had gone away.
Mindfulness Magic :)