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Mediation Break: Teaching Our Kids How To Stop, Focus, And Just Breathe

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July 29, 2022
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under Blog, Meditation

The most common types of meditation practice are movement based, mindfulness, cultivating positive emotions, concentration and “emptying.” 

​​Our kids' brains are tired.  They have a lot going on between organized sports, school and education expectations, the after-affects of COVID, an learning how to get back in society – especially after such long lock-down at home.

To be honest, it would even be alot to expect from adults who go through the same experienes. Now, adults have the benefit of understanding how to handle their stress in whatever way works for them, but children simply do not have those tools yet.

Studies are showing tha kids of all ages just need slow down. They need to unplug, relax, and focus  Meditation offers this break and helps kids function more effectively and clearly.

In a finding which is absolutely not shocking on ay level, children have reported to have high stress levels too.  To help combat this,  the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents to share meditation with their children—and teachers to incorporate mindfulness training into their lesson plans.

This is a good thing.

 

This is a vast array of choices for children to start practicing meditation today

As we noted above, the most common types of meditation practice are concentration, mindfulness, movement based, cultivating positive emotions, and “emptying”.

Mindfulness meditation on breath involves sitting quietly, resting or closing your eyes and bringing your attention to your breath. Naturally, your attention will drift away and veer into topics which are floating around you head. The idea is to simply usher your attention back to your breath without judgment.  You can do this. So can your children. It takes practice and patience, but that’s the idea! Practice and patience.

 

Research on the Benefits of Meditation in Children

A number of studies in school settings also show improved attention and behavior.

Some research has shown benefits for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, school performance, sleep, behavior problems, and eating disorders.

In fact, a recent  trial of 300 low-income, minority urban middle-schoolers using school-based mindfulness instruction resulted in  improved psychological functioning and lower levels of PTSD symptoms.

In addition to the emotional benefits, there are also physical benefits to mindfulness because it can calm the nervous system and thereby decrease the related stress hormones.

A recent trial lof 166 teens at risk for cardiovascular disease found that breathing awareness even produced a reduction in blood pressure and their heart rate!

 

Meditation Tips

Here are series of tips which will help your meditation practice

  • Pediatrcians recommend these time frames for meditation:
    • Preschool children: A few minutes per day.
    • Gradeschool children: 3-10 minutes twice a day.
    • Teens and adults: 5-45 minutes per day or more based on preference.
  • It’s best to try this at night because kids are slowing down, and the act of deep breathing can aid the bedtime routine.
  • Kids need to take a few deep breaths before they knowingly enter a potentially stressful environment like a sports event, a talk with a teacher, or taking a test.
  • Timeouts are never fun - but to help ease the emotional rollercoaster, it might be a good idea to suggest deep breathing before or after the timeout.
  • Utilize the library, apps, and internet to the best of your ability. There are books, audio recordings, videos, online training, websites, and even smartphone apps to help children meditate. Choose and practice the one that works the best for you and your child.

 



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