From television screens to I-pads and cell phones and social media, children’s minds are overloaded with information. Not all of what they are exposed to has a positive impact, but often, reinforces thoughts and images that induce temperamental behaviors and effects healthy development.
Dating back to centuries ago, practicing meditation has been found to have a profound effect on the mind, body and soul. Meditation is now also seen as a useful tool for children of all ages, in educational settings, at home or even on the athletic field. Here are some benefits children can reap from just a few minutes a day of mindfulness.
Improved focus. Concentration is important at any age and the sooner children are trained, he or she can perform more efficiently academically and socially. Meditation removes distractions and invites comfort. Children can learn attention skills and develop a higher regard for their surroundings.
Researchers in Australia conducted a study of 26 children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) between the ages of four and 12 who were treated with Yoga Meditation for six weeks.
Findings of the study included;
- Reduced hyperactivity
- Reduced impulsiveness and inattention
- Improved parent-child relationships
- Enhanced self-esteem
- Reduced use of medication in 50% of children
Reinforcing positivity and build self-awareness. A meditation routine can transform the way children respond to stress, fears or anxiety. A peaceful break of breathing and relaxation can help children refresh their thoughts to focus on the positive, blocking out negative energies or thoughts. Guided meditative affirmations help children increase their self-confidence and help them tune in to their feelings or actions. For example, by him or her hearing and repeating the words “I am safe,” “I am calm” or “I am proud of myself,” can help shape their attitude and behavior.
Excel academically. A study published in Developmental Psychology found that 4th and 5th grade students who regularly performed meditation exercises did 15% better on math tests. We know focus and concentration is improved, so it only makes sense kids will excel in their schoolwork. Kids need encouragement to progress in their studies, at any level. Meditation stimulates the brain and reinforces the idea of succeeding and believing in our abilities. Children develop a connection to learning and are able to be happier doing it.
Physical strength and endurance. Healthy living begins at a young age. Meditation helps improve breathing and heart rate, reduces blood pressure, and overall promotes healthy heart, brain and functioning. Meditation also helps recharge the body releasing both physical and mental energy, which in turn maintains overall health.
Children need a supportive and nurturing environment to thrive in from a young age. They need to be conditioned to face difficult situations with positivity and confidence.
Meditation in a quiet, non-distracting place can offer children a way to experience peace, happiness and to allow them to express the joys of their childhood. Find a few minute a day to invite meditation into your children’s life whether it be through breathing exercises, guided meditations, positive affirmations or just sitting quietly.