Mindfulness & Meditation
Scientific research supports the positive effects of meditation on mental health and overall well-being. Practicing mindfulness has been shown to improve attention and reduce stress, as well as to increase one's ability to regulate emotions and feel compassion and empathy. When considering mindfulness and childhood mental health, meditation has been shown to reduce the severity of depression, anxiety and ADD/ADHD symptoms in children. Mindfulness builds resilience by giving children skills to help them to cope better with stress, as well as engage more fully with themselves and the world. Regular meditation is a natural and simple way to maintain a child’s developing brain to function properly, without the use of prescribed pharmaceutical drugs. Prolonged intake of prescribed pharmaceutical medications can cause various negative side-effects and harm to the mind and physical body, especially in young developing children who have delicate brain chemistry.
Growing numbers of research and studies demonstrate the many benefits of meditation in humans, both for adults and children. Meditation can lead to an enhanced ability to sustain attention and focus. Other improvements from daily meditation include: an improved memory, executive functioning, visual-spatial processing abilities, better and deeper sleep at night, reduction in stress, anxiety and fatigue levels, as well as increased awareness of one’s self and surroundings.
Mindfulness meditation has been shown to be a good strategy to support weight-loss goals as well. A survey of American Psychological Association licensed psychologists by Consumer Reports found that mindfulness, along with cognitive therapy and problem-solving, are “excellent” or “good” weight loss strategies. That’s because the focus of dieters should be more on the role their emotions play in weight management. With childhood obesity being an increasing problem in most developed countries around the world, especially in the US and Europe, adding meditation to a child’s daily mindfulness practice is a big benefit for the child’s overall mental and physical health, especially for those children affected by obesity and weight gain.