Sponsored by Pinnacle Pointe Behavioral Healthcare System
Going about daily life can be stressful, whether you’re an adult or a kid.
Fortunately, there are many ways to alleviate that stress and anxiety that you may be feeling. One of those ways is meditation and mindfulness.
According to Lauren English, a licensed professional counselor and business development representative with Pinnacle Pointe Behavioral Healthcare, meditation is a great way for both you and your kids to decompress.
“We all know that mindfulness and meditation and yoga are more popular than ever,” she says. “We see people taking all the time to do these things. So, why not practice them with our kids? We can receive the benefits in the process.”
English says that parents, grandparents, teachers, babysitters and others can help encourage mindfulness and meditation practices in children. Increasing mindfulness, she says, will help kids combat negative thoughts and behaviors and can be a lifelong tool for them.
“Studies show that teaching kids mindfulness practices can build their attentiveness, their respect for their peers, self-control and empathy, all while reducing stress, hyperactive behavior, ADHD symptoms and depression,” she says.
Despite this, only 1.6 percent of U.S. children meditate.
English offered several guided meditation practices to help children learn more about meditation and mindfulness.
For the first exercise, English says to relax your body. Then, begin with deep inhales and slow exhales through your nose.
You can take slow deep breaths, filling your belly with air. As a fun element, pretend that you are blowing up a balloon. Then, slowly release the air.
Encourage kids to feel their body relax each time their exhale. You can make hissing noises to encourage them to slow down exhale. This will make the meditation more fun and interactive!
English also suggests add more details and movements if the child is younger to keep them engaged.