Everything starts with a question? Meditation has changed my life, but it has also left me with a burning question. What would have happened if I had begun meditating as a child? Would I have made better choices? Would my mental health had been better? Would I be a better citizen and have taken more care of everything and everyone around me? The more I thought about it, the more I thought that learning to meditate as a child would have made a massive difference to me.
Meditation and its emphasis on observing your thoughts and feelings and letting them go has helped me effectively manage and reduce anxiety and stress and science is increasingly supporting my experience https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1809754. Research also suggests that children’s mental health in the UK is not an altogether positive picture and problems like anxiety and stress, previously considered an adult domain now affect children on an alarming scale.
Having two children is a constant reminder of the pressures both academic and societal that affect them and cause anxiety and worry. Frequent academic testing, social media, busy lives and constant distraction can leave children frazzled so surely teaching them to meditate, an intervention that is both inexpensive and accessible is a good thing or maybe an essential thing. After all we teach them the importance of physical wellbeing, undoubtedly important but it has taken longer for us to get around to thinking about the mind.
Writing and delivering the ThoughtBubbles Mindfulness Programme for children was based on the belief that mindfulness/meditation is important and something that might be of enormous benefit to children not just as a treatment but as something that is life enhancing for anyone. I’m not the only one who thinks this and again, science is increasingly backing us up http://mindfulnessforchildren.org/research/.
Not that mindfulness / child meditation is the only way to help children manage their mental well-being but introducing simple mindfulness exercises and gently building their skills could make a difference over the course of a lifetime. Mindfulness/Meditation provides a peaceful space of non-judgement where anyone can enjoy the beauty of the moment. How many places are there like that for anyone in the rush of modern life in 2019? Lets provide some more.