Emotions significantly influence our memory, attention and learning, and this is something that has been demonstrated on numerous occasions. When we feel emotionally blocked, for whatever reason, we find it tremendously difficult to learn. On the other hand, when we are passionate about something, we capture it all without effort.
Today we live in a very demanding world that is going at a dizzying pace. Especially in big cities, it seems that we lack hours to carry out all the tasks that we have marked, and the same happens with the little ones, who live immersed in a world of strict schedules and a multitude of school and extracurricular tasks, in such a way who do not have time to focus on pampering themselves, finding themselves in a world of continuous stimuli that prevent them from connecting with their emotions.
We live in a culture that encourages disconnection from the body, blocking healthy mind-body integration. We are teaching them to grow up in a world where, to mitigate difficult emotions, anxiety, and trauma, we encourage them to move away from their feelings using constant distractions such as television, video games, YouTube, etc. In the West we function assuming that there is a split between mind and body since the seventeenth century, when René Descartes established a duality between mind-body that does not reflect the reality that both are one.
A recent study found that young people prefer to receive ten minutes of low-voltage electrical shocks, rather than being alone with their thoughts without electronic devices. Taking drugs, self-harm, and misbehavior are other ways to abandon your immediate experience..
Fortunately, not only adults can benefit from cultivating a mindfulness focused on the present moment. Research is beginning to shed light on the power of mindfulness as an intervention to improve understanding and tolerance of the emotions that children face on a daily basis. We are also beginning to recognize that mindfulness practice can be beneficial for children for the same reasons it helps adults, because it helps reduce stress, improve sleep quality, and increase attention..
At younger and younger ages, children face higher levels of stress, and this takes a significant toll on their health. Stressful events in childhood can increase the risk of developing health problems as adults, but the impact can affect much earlier. A recent study from the University of Florida showed that stressful events can affect a child's health and well-being almost immediately, and can contribute to the development of physical and mental health problems and learning disabilities..
We must bear in mind that mindfulness with children does not have to mean twenty minutes sitting silently on a meditation cushion. It can be about playing with a stuffed animal on the floor in a calm way until we ring a bell and take several conscious breaths before and after the game. The secret lies in teaching them to establish contact with their emotional experience, rather than to get away from it, thus developing emotional intelligence..
There are many benefits for children and teens that can benefit from mindfulness training, including:
Mindfulness training has also been shown to help reduce the severity of depression, anxiety, and ADHD in children..
Research shows that parents and caregivers who practice mindfulness with children contribute to a substantial improvement in their sense of self-worth. That is why the best thing that parents can do to help their children become more aware is to learn some simple techniques such as those that can be found in the book "Mindfulness for Parents and Children". Here are explained more than 75 practical, simple and fun exercises for the little ones in the house that anyone can put into practice in an easy and fun way.