MEDITATION SINGAPORE – 7 BENEFITS OF MEDITATION FOR CHILDREN
By Vikas Malkani
5th October 2016
Meditation is a simple but effective technique that has several beneficial effects on our children’s emotional, mental and intellectual development. It helps children connect with their inner strengths, sleep better and develop better social interactions. It also helps them to manage stress, stay calm and respond to challenges rather than get overwhelmed by them.
Meditation helps children in a variety of ways. It helps reduce stress, strengthens the immune system, can improve relationships at home & at school, decreases aggressiveness and anxieties, improves behaviour and attitude, improves focus, memory & concentration and promotes inner peace.
Meditation has also proven effective in helping kids release negative thoughts and behaviours and in building self-confidence. Mindfulness and meditation are fantastic tools that kids can learn at an early age which will help them throughout their lives.
Most of what parents want for their kids, emotionally, socially and personally, is possible through meditation. In fact, the impact of meditation on kids can be life-changing.
There are thousands of studies showing the positive impact of meditation on our health and well-being. Here are some of the positive traits and skills meditation brings in children.
1) Self-Management - Kids learn to become more aware of their own bodies and their reaction to stress so that they can better take control of their emotional and physical states. This ability to calm themselves when they experience stress is an invaluable tool, and leads them to have a more positive outlook on life and to be more confident.
2) Increased Focus - Children learn how to focus their attention and concentration. This helps them read, study and learn more efficiently. Here is an example - when an elementary school in the Midwest did eight weeks of meditation with their third-graders, teachers reported significantly less hyperactive behaviour, ADHD symptoms, and inattentiveness in their students.
3) Enhanced Self-Esteem - Meditation helps kids learn how to pay attention to their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. In turn, they are able to be more empathetic and more compassionate toward others. They even become better listeners. Students in various high schools have reported significant boosts in self-esteem from their meditation practice.
4) Creative Thinking - Children are naturally very creative, but often they don’t fully tune in to their creative wellspring. Meditation leads to an increased ability for children to tap into their natural creativity. At Leiden University, psychologists have found that, after doing short meditation exercises, participants performed better on tasks that required them to generate new creative ideas.
5) Inner Calmness – It’s interesting to note that many elementary-aged children use entertainment technology, video games, texting, TV, etc., for up to 7.5 hours a day on average! This technology encourages fast paced and frenetic mind activity and a culture of multi-tasking. Children are especially susceptible to the side effects of too much technology, such as shorter attention span, less patience, anxiety and nervousness. It’s very important to counterbalance all this exposure to technology with some quiet time, and meditation is the perfect complement.
6) Personal Growth - As children grow, they learn who they are and what makes them happy. Meditation teaches them self-awareness. By looking inside themselves, they find out what they’re passionate about and what they want to do in life. They understand their own reactions better and can learn to self-regulate when they are triggered. They develop a certain independence and can follow their own intuition instead of just following the crowd.
The nature of the mind, when stressed, is to jump from thought to thought like a monkey. If there is tension, then the mind cannot be calm. Meditation gives them a healthy rest from the ‘monkey mind’ so they can function more effectively and with clarity. Additionally, the child’s creativity will flow best when their mind is freed from the demands of tension and stress.
7) Overcoming Fear – Fear is another challenge for children as they are growing up in this fast-paced world. Fears, such as not being accepted and not having friends as well as the primal fears of death and losing loved ones, can trouble children. Emotional stability is essential for healthy growth.
Meditation helps children cope with the emotions of frustration and fear. It helps to balance the whole system by supporting emotional development and gives rest to the mind so that they are not overwhelmed by their strong feelings.
Vikas Malkani is an internationally renowned teacher of meditation and mindfulness classes in Singapore. He is also the author of the best-selling book ‘The Little Manual of Meditation’.
For the next meditation class with Vikas Malkani, see here http://www.soulcentre.org/events
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