Mental health has always been a heavy topic when it comes to kids and teens. Parents are becoming more concerned with their child’s mental health due the rise of online bullying and unrealistic fashion trends. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and being mindful are key to improving your everyday mental health and managing anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses.

 

What Is Mindfulness?

In its most simplest form, mindfulness is all about being present. It’s about being aware of where we are, what we’re doing and how we’re feeling. According to Headspace, mindfulness is ‘the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment — free from distraction or judgement, and aware of our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them.’

The purpose of teaching mindfulness to children is to equip them with the skills to acknowledge and control their feelings and cope with challenges that will arise throughout life.

 

What Are The Benefits Of Mindfulness For Kids & Teens?

There are a number of benefits seen in children who practice mindfulness, such as improving their cognitive focus and  overall wellbeing, and decreasing their emotional reactivity. Mindfulness is also known for its mental and physical benefits, such as:

  • a healthy heart
  • a stronger immune system
  • better memory retention
  • enhanced quality of sleep
  • stronger self-control
  • reduced anxiety and stress
  • improved emotional regulation skills, 
  • better social skills and communication
  • improves self-esteem.

 

Why Is Mindfulness Important For Kids & Teens?

The emotional well-being of children is just as important as their physical health, as the habits they create at a young age are likely to stay with them throughout adulthood.

A child’s mental health can be influenced by various factors such as family, school and other life events. Health Direct suggests that while children can experience mental health issues at any age, they’re at most risk between 12 and 16.

“About half of all serious mental health issues begin before a child reaches 14 years of age.”

Good mental health allows children and teens to develop resilience; this is key to healthy development and wellbeing. Mindfulness helps kids and teens to increase their ability to regulate emotions while also decreasing stress and anxiety. It also allows them to focus their attention, as well as observe thoughts and feelings without experiencing judgement.

 

How To Introduce Mindfulness To My Kids & Teens?

A great way to ease your kids into mindfulness is through mediation. This activity can take as little or as much time as you like, meaning you can easily practice mindfulness meditation before or after school.

Deep breathing is one of the most simplest yet effective activities in mindfulness meditation. Here is one activity to try at home with your kids.

  • Ask your child to sit in a comfortable position and close their eyes.
  • Invite your child to take three deep breaths in with long inhales and exhales.
  • Ask your child to tune into their physical sensations and emotions — what they can see, hear, feel and taste. Ask them to identify their thoughts.
  • When you’re ready, let them know they’re ready to carry on with their day and will do so with more awareness. 

There are also a large range of videos, apps, podcasts that also offer guided meditation. Give this one minute guided mini-meditation from Headspace a go and see what you think.

 

Still Not Sure How To Start?

Our trainers are experienced and understand the struggles of mental health amongst children and teens. Therefore we have developed unique classes which are tailored to their needs, many featuring some element of mindfulness. We look to encourage social, physical and mental resilience through exercise and offer a huge range of classes designed to help strengthen your child’s mind + body.

If you have any questions or would like to have a chat, get in contact with us today