Teaching Mindfulness to kids... what's the point?? Surely we have enough to do already!?
Mindfulness, is a word that you have probably heard a whole lot recently, but what does it ACTUALLY mean?! And more importantly why do I need my child to know HOW to practice it?
Over 30 years ago Jon Kabat-Zinn developed a therapeutic practice called Mindful Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Mindfulness is another form of #meditation focusing on being very aware of what you're sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment - that's the key!
Practicing #mindfulness involves #breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress. Mindfulness should not be confused with mindlessness also known as: scrolling for hours on social media or totally tuning out of life and staring blankly into space. Mindfulness brings an intention and awareness to yourself and to your everyday activities. It helps us focus on the here and now where we are #safe and #well.
As humans we can have a tendency to worry about future events (as well as past situations!) - it could be in the next hour, next week or even next year, which can set off the never-ending cycle of "what if" questions in your mind. This feels EXHAUSTING - believe me, I know what it is like. I use to think of my "#whatif "cycling questions like a spinning Rolodex (if you were born after 1987 you may want to look up what a Rolodex is!). My racing #mind would keep me up at night and drain and stress me during the day. You see, our minds are the most sophisticated problem-solving machines and when we are focusing on a "problem" our mind needs to find a solution - but hang on, it's in the future - it hasn't even happened yet - so we can't find a solution, because there is no actual problem which is why our mind finds it so difficult to let go!
This is where mindfulness comes in....
By being very aware of ourselves, tuning in to our thoughts we can snap ourselves back into the present day and give ourselves space from these worrying thoughts.
At #Wisdompowerkids I teach kids aged 8+ powerful mindset tools and life skills, incorporating CBT techniques, Mindfulness-based practices and breath work in order to help kids manage themselves, their #anxieties, build #confidence, #self-esteem and #resilience this is hugely important! A study that was conducted with a group of 4th and 6th graders found that after 8 weeks of mindfulness training, there was a noticeable decrease in anxiety and an increase in attention and ability to handle challenging situations. More and more often, parents reach out to me about their child's anxiety and want me to "take away their anxiety". I explain to the parents AND the child that I don't have a magic wand and I cannot remove anxiety from their lives. What I CAN do is help them learn how to manage anxiety in a healthier more sustainable way that they can carry with them for their life's journey. I truly believe that unless children are taught how to manage their anxiety early on in life, the problem is just going to get worse for them as they hit their teenage years through to their 20s, 30's and beyond.
If you would like more information or I can help YOUR child, please feel free to contact me :)