Thursday, June 2, 2016

Why should kids meditate

If there is one gift you can bestow on your child, it should be meditation.
The ability to stay calm and positive irrespective of the challenges life throws at you, is a lifelong skill. It is also a skill that your child will use in every facet of life, be it sports, academics or any other extra curricular activity that the child partakes in. Meditation will help your child to approach things positively and to appreciate the beauty that life is. But most importantly, your child will learn to value himself/ herself and to love himself/ herself. Only when you love yourself, can you give love to others. 

In the time I have been meditating with kids, whether, they are 4 year olds or 12 year olds, what strikes me the most is their purity and their natural virtue of love and happiness. Somehow, along the way, with family and self imposed pressure, sensory overload, and with the need to fit in, kids begin to lose their ability to see themselves as the bundle of virtues that they truly are. They start to develop  stress and anxiety. Their confidence level plummets, they feel insecure and they develop strong emotions such as fear and frustration. Hence, the need to meditate.

Benefits of meditation:

It creates a strong brain - A study on "The structure and neural patterns in the brain" published in NeuroReport in 2005 show thicker cortical regions related to attention and sensory processing in meditation practitioners. There was evidence of increased activation in a region of the brain correlated with positive affect. 

It creates a strong immune system - Studies show evidence that the immune system would react more robustly in antibody production after meditation training. 

It reduces anxiety and stress - Meditation has been proved to reduce cortisol, the stress hormone. Stress is known to create long term physical and mental health problems. A study conducted in Australia shows significant improvement in Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with children who were taught to meditate. 50 percent of the children who participated in this study either stopped taking medication completely or reported an improvement in their ADHD symptoms. 

It improves inter personal relationships - Self control, respect for others, and compassion increases  in children thereby contributing to their confidence, self esteem and building stronger inter personal relationships.

It supports healthy emotional development - Meditation helps kids to deal with emotions such as fear, frustration and acceptance. The participants of a study reported less anxiety, depression, and anger  after a few weeks of meditation training.

It aids in academic success - Working memory, clarity, focus and attention span improves. There have been numerous studies that show that meditation contributes to better math, reading comprehension scores and overall academic performance. Children (and adults) perform better when they are not under stress.

It is our perception which makes the world what it appears to us. Our thoughts are powerful; they can either make things/ situations look beautiful or ugly. Empower your child. Let him create beautiful thoughts and a beautiful world.