Adults in all walks of life have been practicing mindfulness for decades and the benefits are near endless (Benefits). Research on mindfulness for children however is not yet as extensive, but the amount of studies are rapidly growing and some show that kids can get more from mindful living than adults.
Over the past 10 years, mental health issues with young children has reached an all-time high. The most common of these mental health problems are anxiety, depression and hyperactivity (ADHD). Such disorders in young children do not have a single definite cause, although a lot of people believe that the rapidly growing social media channels and the young adoption of these platforms play a big part. Studies show that social media can run the risk of promoting low self-esteem, poor body image and a tendency to self-criticise.
Mindfulness teachings in schools are becoming more widespread.
According to recent research conducted by the university Of California, the benefits of mindfulness teachings in schools include:
- Decreased stress
- Increased peer interactions
- Improved focus
- Increased grades
5 Key Benefits Of Teaching Your Children To Be Mindful
1. Increases peer awareness and compassion
Mindfulness has been proven to increase empathy and compassion for others by giving us that extra second before we say something that may offend or belittle another person.
Mindful children show more awareness over one and others feelings and are more likely to be kind to and respect their peers.
2. Improves attention
Children’s mindfulness training begins with focusing on something specific, like taste, sound or breath. This focus helps them come out of the constant mind activity and become more rooted in the moment. After practice, children are more capable of being attentive and focused for longer periods of time.
Better attention skills, in turn, help them do better in school, sports or art. It helps them retain information better and achieve higher scores on tests. After all, we all perform better when we pay more attention to what we are doing.
3. Improves self-regulation & control
Mindfulness allows us to become aware of what our minds are really up to which helps us to deal with tough emotions and give us control over our impulses. A key tool for any youngster.
Without mindfulness, children are more reactive and allow situations to control their emotions. With mindfulness they tend to respond to situations in a more balanced and rational way.
4. Mindfulness reduces Stress & Anxiety
The main cause of anxiety tends to be future thinking, meaning to think ahead of time. For children this could be thinking forward to starting school, meeting new people or taking a test. Mindful practices for children gives them more control and awareness over their thoughts, giving them that reminder to breathe and relax.
Researchers from the John Hopkins University combed through over 18,000 mindfulness studies and concluded that the number one benefit of meditation was anxiety relief.
5. Reduces Hyperactivity
Hyperactivity the result of our children having excess energy and no were to direct it. This energy is then expelled at what feels like the worst times possible. Ironically, Mindfulness and meditation has been proven to give us more energy throughout the day. So how can this help reduce hyperactivity? Being mindful gives us the awareness and focus that is required to be more efficient with our energy. Allowing children to go full out when the time is right but remain calm and focused when in class or sitting down to a meal.
At the core of all mental health issues is compulsive overthinking. Mindfulness is the practice of reducing these thoughts and in turn becoming more aware of what goes on inside our heads. Giving us more control over our minds rather than our minds controlling us.
Mindfulness is a skill, and like all other skills it takes time and practice for them to become effective. It can be frustrating when you don’t see immediate results but give it time, stick with the practice and you will start seeing results in no time.
Stay tuned this week for some fun and exciting techniques for teaching your young ones the art of being mindful.
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