5 Reasons Kids Need to Meditate
The topic of meditation often gets mixed responses. Some may swoon and go on to talk about how life changing meditation has been for them, while others may say “meh, not for me.” All of our minds are unique and we each have very personal and different ways of calming ourselves and spending our free time. One thing is for certain, the challenges the past couple of years have presented us with have demanded that we identify meaningful ways to care for ourselves. Kids’ mental health and social development were both hit especially hard during the pandemic, reminding us that self-care isn’t something just for adults.
- Overstimulation is real and detrimental to our kids development and well being. Awareness on the issue is improving but our kids are still bombarded by stimulation from technology, over-scheduling, and just the effects from being all together too busy.
- Kids need to build self awareness by practicing and create a toolkit of resources or practices for when they need a reset. There is truth behind the saying “little people, little problems…big people, big problems.” Life gets more complex as we go and we need to equip our kids ahead of time with the tools to cope and thrive. It’s much harder to learn and apply these tools during a crisis than during a time of stability. Be proactive, you’ll thank yourself later.
- It gives them a chance to get out of their head and into their heart. This is something everyone can benefit from. Kids spend a lot of time wondering, worrying, contemplating, ruminating. Our brain is an organ in our body that can work for us or against us. “You are not your brain.” This is one of the greatest quotes of all time, spoken by spiritual leader, Eckhart Tolle. Help your child separate themselves from their mind and live a little more through their hearts. Meditation can help them do just this.
- They often have less to “work through” to experience the benefits. It is commonly said that children are closest to Source, Spirit, God, or Earth. No matter what your spiritual belief system is, no one will argue the pureness of a child. That purity and innocence all too often gets lost during our journey here. On the flip side, children can be consumed by survival emotions. They need us to survive. That’s why we see them melting into a puddle over something you know is not life threatening. They have little control over their well being and are reliant on the adults around them to provide and give them what they need to survive. That’s why everything seems to be an emergency in a child’s eyes. Imagine what could happen if they are able to get away from those survival emotions for a bit and soak in a bath of love and peace that always surrounds them and lives within them but they just needed to slow down to feel it..
- It is a form of empowerment. The world we live in today can be very disempowering. Violence, bullying, quaratines, injustices, social media can all result in kids living in a victim mentality where things “happen to them” and they end up feeling less than whole. While that is the case at times, they can have a place to go to find balance and peace no matter what is going on around them.
Reasons why meditation might be uncomfortable (for kids and adults):
- Your brain is addicted to stimulation and meditation feels like an itchy wool sweater on a 90 degree day. Solution: Start with just 10 minutes and gradually increase the time as your mind and body get used to the stillness. It is normal to feel a David and Goliath fight going on inside you.It will get better, David…just keep going.
- You fall asleep. Solution: Sit up. Lying down meditations are conducive to sleep because that is what we are used to doing when we lay down. Try sitting up, keeping your feet on the floor. This is the best way to feel the elevated emotions that can come from this practice. Try it first thing in the morning to start your day on the right foot.
- You just can’t get into it. Solution: There are countless different types of meditation and countless types of minds. If you haven’t found one to suit you, keep trying different approaches, just remember it takes time so give it a chance. Our brain has been trained to be active ALL THE TIME. It will be a little (or alot) uncomfortable until you get used to it. Be gentle on yourself as it takes time but the end results are worth the patience and effort.
Meditation is an ancient practice with proven physical and mental health benefits. It can also teach our kids how to find comfort by being still along with adding an effective tool to their wellness toolbox. Involve them in exploring different methods of meditation so they take ownership of the practice and make it a routine. What time can you find in your day to give it a try?
Happy Spots is an active, fun, meditation practice that allows kids (ages 7-17) to build confidence, overcome anxiety, and realize their own inner strength, with immediate results.