Naturally, like every parent, you might be worried about your child’s emotional and mental wellbeing. Tantrums, aggressive behavior, and other worrying habits incline parents towards teaching kids different techniques to handle their emotions with the best possible conduct. More than this, it is important for parents to teach their children calming techniques when depression, anxiety, and stress are becoming increasingly common in kids. According to one study, one in every five children aged three to 17 suffers from mental illness. This gives way to meditation for kids.
In our rapidly changing and multitasking world, it is exceptionally important for kids to slow down, take a deep breath, empty their minds, and practice mindfulness. Mindfulness meditation benefits not only adults but also children of all ages. Imagine the benefits of introducing mindfulness meditation to your kids at an early age. The compassion, happiness, and kindful behavior that will develop in them are worth introducing mindfulness meditation.
What is Mindfulness Meditation for Kids?
Mindfulness meditation is the way to train our minds and bodies to be aware of the present moment. Adopting awareness of the present is essential in maintaining an equilibrium lifestyle and adopting healthy habits. Meditation for kids is just like meditation for adults; the only difference is that meditation for kids is guided by parents.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that mindfulness meditation results in “improvements in mental health, coping, and self-regulation as well as decreasing hypertension and negative school behaviors.” Multiple studies have been conducted in the past that portray the benefits to the mental and physical health of kids through meditation.
Science-Based Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation for Kids
Mindfulness Meditation touches all the aspects of well-being. From improvements in physical health to promoting mental health and increasing emotional strength, meditation mindfulness:
- Raises IQ levels
- Augments kindness
- Promotes resilience
- Improves sleep quality
- Provides emotional control
- Reduces ADHD symptoms
- It improves social behaviors
- Enhances inhibition and shift
- Revamp’s cognitive functions
- Refines socio-emotional skills
- Reduces aggressive behavior
- Boosts one’s level of optimism
- Stress and anxiety are reduced
- Raises attention and memory
- Promotes overall physical health
- Academic performance increases
- Builds compassion towards others
- Encourages deeper personal insights
- Magnifies working memory and planning
- Boosts immunity and reduces inflammation
- Improves performance of attention assessing tasks
- Improves monitoring skills and organization of materials
- Reduce the number of involuntary responses, such as intrusive thoughts
Boosts ‘Stress and Anxiety’ Management in Kids
Meditation for kids activates the relaxation response in the body, soothing both the mind and the body. Kids who meditate become less reactive to stress over time. When confronted with challenging events, they are better able to recover from stressful events at school and in academic life.
Children under chronic stress experience fight-or-flight responses, which makes it difficult for them to focus, learn and behave correctly. Mindfulness meditation, on the other hand, is a beneficial practice that can have a significant impact on overall mental well-being. Children who engage in mindfulness meditation feel happier and calmer. Additionally, kids facing extreme stress and trauma benefit from mindfulness-based courses that help them self-regulate their feelings and learn from their emotional intelligence.
Some studies have suggested that schools that have adopted meditation practices have increased children’s brain functions. Therefore, kids are soothing their emotions by learning to notice their thoughts and feelings without engaging or judging them excessively through mindfulness meditation. With meditation, stress, anxiety, and major emotions are also becoming easier to notice and handle with time.
Meditation entails the practice of paying attention for an extended period of time. Children develop the ability to sit and concentrate on their breathing, which increases their ability to ignore distractions such as friends, noises, and even their own thoughts.
One of the benefits of mindfulness meditation for kids is that they do not dwell on or question their thoughts, instead of allowing them to come and go as they please. Children can, therefore, use their improved capacity to focus in the classroom as well. Why? Multiple researchers have linked academic success to concentration and focus.
Motivation, grit, academic performance, and overall well-being all require a high level of confidence. Meditation focuses on personal progress and self-awareness rather than comparison or competitiveness, it builds confidence. When children practice mindfulness meditation, they do so at their own pace and in a way that feels natural to them. As they improve their practice and see the benefits, they’ll feel elevated and accomplished. That gives the parents a lot of power and a boost in their self-esteem. Why? Because parents are the mirror to their kids’ emotions.
Another benefit of mindfulness meditation for kids in terms of confidence is that it makes it simpler to switch off the negative self. It gets easier with practice to let go of negative sentiments, judgments, and critiques. On the other hand, meditation releases endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin, which increase positive feelings and self-esteem through feel-good hormones.
Children learn to be kinder to themselves and others as a result of mindfulness meditation. Recent studies have suggested more kind and loving thoughts about others, as well as more compassionate acts that are connected to mindfulness meditation. Experts are baffled as to why meditation causes an increase in prosocial behavior. The reality is that it encourages children to focus more on the present moment, making them more aware of how others are experiencing it. Meditation also makes children happy, which is linked to increased friendliness and goodwill towards others.
Promotes Sound Sleep
Having a good night’s sleep is crucial for everyone, but it is especially important for growing children. Studies suggest that children who get enough sleep have high mental and physical health, memory, attentiveness, and learning capabilities.
Meditation, which teaches kids to calm their mind and body, makes falling asleep much simpler when performed on a regular basis. Tension and anxiety are lessened through mindfulness meditation, which also promotes sound sleep.
Additionally, mindfulness meditation releases melatonin, a hormone responsible for sleep, which aids in a more restful night. The research concluded that meditation has been linked to improved slow-wave and REM sleep, as well as fewer night awakenings.
You must have heard about meditation techniques for adults rather than meditation for kids. But this is a term that is recently catching hype due to increased stress, depression, and anxiety amongst kids. Especially at the peak of COVID-19, when children were restricted to their homes and had little social interaction.
Parents are adopting different techniques to bring back the compassionate personality of children and reduce stressful situations. Amongst those techniques are courses for mindfulness meditation for kids which guide parents and children to the basics of meditation and their benefits.