Let’s face it, in today’s manic world our kids are stressed. From constant connection to technology to the demands of school, children feel more pressure. At times, they seem to have a constant ‘buzz’ in their head, preventing them from concentrating or even hearing us when we talk to them. This is no way for our kids to live. We can’t imagine our childhoods without time to relax and recharge, so we’re putting our feet down and encouraging our kids to take a conscious time out.
One of the best ways to disconnect and de-stress is meditation. “The relaxation response [from meditation] helps decrease metabolism, lowers blood pressure, and improves heart rate, breathing, and brain waves.” Here are over 50 Scientific Benefits of Meditation ~ The book Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee MacLean is a tool we could all use. She says, “Sometimes life seems like it’s all about hurrying—so many places to go! And sometimes it’s hard when things don’t go your way—it can make a piggy angry and sad. How do young piggies find a peaceful place in a busy world? They meditate!” And she’s right. Try making an effort as a family to decrease stress and encourage calmer, less aggressive behavior from everyone with meditation. In case you need more motivation, here are 15 reasons your kid should be meditating and why we should be encouraging mindfulness for children.
Meditation gives a child time and space to clear their mind and really relax. This is where creative juices flow, and kids get into their “zone.” This is also where they can start getting a taste of what it means to get grounded, or centered.
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2. Reduces Stress
By clearing their minds, your kids are also getting away from their problems and lowering their stress levels. Stress in a kid just plain sad. The more we can do to treat the effects of stress, the more joyful will our kids be able to feel.
The noise of the word is so, well…noisy. Meditation teaches children not only to be silent but to appreciate it. It’s a beautiful thing for both parents and children.
With silence, children gain the ability to listen. They’ll better hear their own thoughts and whispers of their souls, as well as the voices of others. This kind of mindfulness for children is exactly what we should aim to cultivate.
Better listening skills means better memory. Could this translate to better test scores? A definite possibility.
The relaxation and sense of serenity that meditation facilitates can work to create a calm, effective bedtime routine that allows for better quality sleep.
7. More Positive Behavior
When you’re relaxed, don’t you feel and act better? We’re guessing so. Stress does not generate good choices (or good health), in general.
8. Less Aggressive Behavior
Along with an increase in positive behavior, you can expect a decrease in aggressive outbursts because, let’s face it, a calm kid doesn’t act out near as much as one who’s an anxious mess.
Meditation creates a sense of inner peace and satisfaction with what is. This can be a foundational tool to combat depression.
10. Attention Span
The unique combination of increased memory power and ability to focus can increase both a child’s attention span and his or her ability to learn. This sense of mindfulness for children opens up so many learning opportunities.
Sitting in silence and learning to focus the mind gives a child better understanding of their feelings and how to deal with them.
You know how much focus it takes for you to meditate? It’s even more challenging for kids, in a good way, of course.
The ability to understand and process their feelings, combined with a well rested and relaxed brain gives kids healthy self-esteem.
Taking time to mediate allows children to see things more clearly and process everything better. This can help with understanding their lives and the challenges they face.
The increase in self-esteem coupled with a better understanding of others and the world provides kids with a sense of confidence and the ability to think and act for themselves in a way you might actually approve of!
All of these benefits of mindfulness for children are just the tip of the iceberg. Meditation is really an experiential feat, so try it as a family, and watch as you all start to feel collectively better.