Mindfulness and why our kids need to practice it

Hi Everyone and welcome to my Blog. If this is your first visit then you may like to have a look at my previous Blogs on raising resilient kids in these crazy times.

I’ve recently had the absolute joy and privilege to be sharing the Peaceful Kids Program with some beautiful 8 and 9 year olds. We’re having loads of fun learning about our feelings, our brains and the importance of Mindfulness and Meditation in our overall well-being. The kids are like sponges, soaking everything up and really opening up about their feelings. Just after 2 sessions I’ve seen an increase in their self-awareness.

So, because I’ve just shared Week 3 of the Peaceful Kids Program and continuing on from my Blog in May titled “Absence of Stress”, today’s Blog is about Mindfulness and why we need to introduce it into our children’s lives. The sooner the better.

“Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognise a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Mindfulness seems to be the word on loads of lips, so let’s start with some facts….

What is Mindfulness? Here are a few descriptions;

‘Focusing on the present moment’

‘Being highly aware of present sensations, thoughts and feelings’

‘Paying attention with flexibility, openness and curiosity’

‘An awareness process, not a thinking process’

What are the Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation?

Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to:

  • Decrease stress and anxiety

  • Allow connection to the self and values

  • Bring a sense of peacefulness and clarity

  • Increase self-awareness

  • Develop self-acceptance and confidence

  • Bring emotional balance and stability

  • Decrease worrying thoughts

  • Allow compassion and empathy to grow

  • Help to view experiences positively

  • Decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression

  • Improve physical symptoms

  • Improve sleep

  • Strengthen the immune system

  • Dramatically improve concentration and memory

As well as…..

Calming the mind

Calming the body

Increasing focus and attention

Increasing ability to learn

Lessening reactive behaviours

Developing self-awareness

Increasing the Ability to tune into their own emotions

Lessening anxiety and stress

Learning how to manage emotions

Learning a life long coping skill

These last 10 relate specifically to benefiting kids in classrooms

I know that’s a lot!

Now, I just want you to read these points again. Tell me these aren’t amazing stats, I dare you!

It seems to me that Mindful Meditation is that ‘pill’, that ‘key’ that we all desire to be whole and well in mind, body and spirit.

Let’s talk a little about the brain and how Mindfulness helps it.

Mindfulness regulates the stress response by strengthening the "‘Thinking’ part of the brain in the frontal lobes.

Mindfulness engages parts of the brain that help us to regulate emotions and create a sense of safety.

Mindfulness helps all parts of the brain work together as an integrated whole.

Higher order brain functions such as attention and concentration are strengthened.

The links between the Amygdala (the alarm centre) and the Pre-Frontal Cortex (the thinking part) are weakened, therefore less ‘reactivity’.

Meditation is proven to actually shrink the Amygdala, allowing you to stay calmer when stress triggers are experienced.

It’s quite clear that we need to change the way we approach anxiety and stress. What better way than to be proactive rather than reactive. We really need to start as early as possible to teach kids life long strategies for dealing with life’s challenges. Let’s show children the importance and beauty of being present and enjoying all around them.

Click here to read an article titled “The health benefits of meditation and being mindful” written by Dr Craig Hassed of Monash University

Click here to go to a really interesting article about the importance of meditation and it’s introduction into schools.

Click here to go to my Website and read about the beautiful Peaceful Kids Program, and then please call me for more information about the Program.

That’s it for now. My next Blog will be about Anxiety and it’s role in disruptive behaviour, join me!

Until then……..

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I love helping families feel happier! If you would like to chat about how I can help you, follow this link to my “Contact Me” page.

This piece is written with the intention of helping parents create happier and more resilient children and is subject to copyright. Please contact the author if you wish to publish elsewhere.