The Powerful Effect of Meditation on Children
Meditation has become increasingly prominent as more and more people enthusiastically promote its soothing effects and benefits in terms of your mental and physical health. Many think of meditation as the preserve of adults, maybe teenagers too, but what about children? CaliKids Academy decided to take a look at what the children stand to gain from meditating!
Photo: CaliKids Academy
Kids spend a lot of their time engaging in boisterous activities. Frolicking on the playground, participating in sports, going on play dates and interacting with siblings – all of these activities stimulate children, which is typically seen as a good thing. And it is! However, there is also value in giving kids an opportunity to experience the tranquillity of being quiet, still and introspective. Almost all children will experience common fears such as fear of the dark or of monsters; they worry about being picked on or whether or not they will make friends; they spend hours being concerned over whether they are ‘enough’ (smart enough, sporty enough, etc.). Meditation provides an avenue through which children can learn to calm their minds and focus on a single aspect, be it a particular thought or the rhythm of their breathing. This helps remind them to be in the moment and to relax, which helps put their concerns into perspective.
Practising meditation can lead to greater self-acceptance and stress management as it fosters a child’s sense of confidence. It has been shown to be an excellent way of preventing children from feeling overwhelmed and overburdened, so that by reducing cortisol levels (the stress hormone), children are more likely to effectively deal with any issues they may be facing. There are also more tangible benefits that come with meditating as a child: the University of California, Los Angeles implemented a meditation program amongst pre-schoolers. The results indicated that this kind of mindfulness led to improved memory and organizational skills, especially since concentration can become better with continued meditation. Meditation can also facilitate better sleep (particularly if it is done just prior to bedtime) and help fight illness.
Life gets busy for everyone, including children, so it can be a fantastic thing to teach them the importance of taking a little bit of time just for themselves to reflect and have some quiet personal time in the midst of the buzz that is daily living.
For more information on meditation for children, or take part in a free trial class, come into CaliKids Academy today!