Meditative practices have existed for centuries and have evolved from Hinduism, Christianity, and Buddhism. In the last couple of decades the number of people in the West who meditate has greatly increased due to the rise of stress and anxiety experienced in daily life.
So what is meditation?
In its simplest form, meditation is the act of sitting quietly with our back straight and focusing our thoughts inwards or just acknowledging our thoughts and letting them pass “before us” without attaching too much emotion to them. In other words, you do not sit in a meditation pose and brood, creating worry in your mind and focusing purposefully on things that have upset you during the day or in previous weeks/months. On a conscious level it is a simple skill that helps us to de-clutter the mind. On a deeper level meditation is a powerful skill that supports us to “be in the moment” and develop our “sense of self”. Regular meditation practice can help to bring our mind, body and emotions into a peaceful harmonious state which will encourage mental and physical healing, relaxation and a greater clarity of mind in everyday life. It is the improved clarity of mind which helps to take the “edge off our mental anxiety” as you are able to better problem solve and more easily see solutions to life’s challenges. Meditation can help us with every area of our life, teaching us to stop resisting and embrace the “flow of life”.
Here is a short list of how meditation benefits children (and adults):
- Better stress management.
- Improved focus and concentration at school.
- Less sleep problems due to reduced physical and mental tension.
- A reduction in anxiety specifically during exam time.
- Improved self-esteem and confidence in challenging situations.
- Increased creativity and mindful self-expression.
- Development of emotional, social and physical growth.
A meditation practice is a lifelong life skill, it is not something you learn in five minutes or even an hour and then think, OK I have got this. Meditation is experiential and will change daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. It is something that grows, develops and changes as you live your life and face life’s challenges specific to you and your environment.
Contact me here to find out about developing your own meditation practice and learning how to facilitate mindfulness in children and teenagers.