What is Mindfulness?
We define Mindfulness as the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which one can develop through various meditation and training methods. For children this skill can build the foundations for optimal concentration and attention.
It is evident that society is experiencing major changes. The rapid evolution of technology and how children are interacting with it, is affecting learning capabilities and wellbeing. Wellbeing underpins the way children relate to others and how they feel about themselves. Mindfulness is about focusing attention on the here and now, rather than being worried about thoughts of past and future. Mindfulness can assist with wellbeing, bringing about strong improvement in attention and reducing anxiety.
Benefits for your child:
Research shows that mindfulness meditation training increases connectivity in the frontal lobe of the brain, which is linked to improved attention, memory processing and decision making abilities. We consider mindfulness meditation as tuning-in to internal and external experiences with curiosity, resulting in increased self-awareness, social awareness and self confidence. Mindfulness meditation such as breathing and other grounding techniques increases the ability to self regulate difficult emotions such as anger and fear. Mindfulness has been shown to help a child build positive relationships, by improving their ability to understand how another person is feeling and display empathy.
Mindfulness builds resilience by giving children the skills to cope with stress and understand themselves better. There are reports that 1 in 7 primary school aged children and 1 in 4 secondary aged children are experiencing mental health problems, mindfulness and mediation training has shown to reduce the severity of anxiety, decrease depression and assist with ADHD in children.
Mindfulness meditation training for your child
Influence your child’s wellbeing and learning by embedding, understanding and embodying the principles of mindfulness into their learning environments. To practice focusing on the now and not the worries of past and future we conduct the following:
- Practice mindful breathing. Focus on watching the breath moving in and out. Slow the breaths down to 4 or 5 counts in and the same out.
- Focus only on the present moment. Try to block out future and past thoughts. When the mind wanders or goes into worry mode, just come back to watching the breathing for a few months and slowing the breath down.
- Concentrate on what’s happening around you. What do you hear, smell and feel? Engage all the senses.
Haven Yoga offer vinyasa yoga classes – students coordinate movement with breath to flow from one pose to the next. We teach breathing techniques, meditation and mindfulness as part of our yoga classes. These practices and techniques will help the children reach a state of now, forgetting those worries of past and future for a period of time, resulting in increased calm and general happiness.