Mindfulness for Kids

03 November 2021
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Mindfulness Defined

What is mindfulness?

The most widely used definition of mindfulness is the act of paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgement.  

What challenges can be addressed through mindfulness?

Mindfulness has been shown to improve executive functioning so challenges with planning, paying attention and time-management can be addressed with this. Additionally it can help students who struggle with regulating their emotions and coping with stressful events.

How It Works

What is neuroplasticity?

Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to change both structurally (i.e. physically) and functionally (i.e. create new connections, get rid of unused connections). 

How does mindfulness affect the brain?

Mindfulness has been shown to lead to structural and functional changes in the brain! The prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a large role in complex behaviors such as planning, inhibition and decision-making. After Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) interventions, its activity appears to be more associated with the salience network. This is the network which is involved with communication, self-awareness and social behavior. MBSR interventions also help strengthen the connection between the PFC and the hippocampus, a key brain area for learning and memory. According to research, the hippocampus has been linked to mood regulation, as well as influencing cortical arousal and responsiveness.  It's no surprise that we feel more focused after meditating. Some studies report that following mindfulness interventions, the hippocampus becomes more active and contains more grey matter, which is made up of the cell bodies of neurons, also known as brain cells.

What are the benefits of mindfulness?

Mindfulness has been shown to increase resilience, reduce anxiety, and improve emotion regulation and executive functioning. Following mindfulness-based interventions, studies have also found improved coping and a reduction in stress. 

Mindfulness In Action

How can kids practice mindfulness?

Guided meditation for kids is one of the best ways to practice mindfulness. Not only does it increase their self-awareness but it can also improve focus, improve relationship skills, and decrease feelings of stress and anxiety. BrainAhead's Mindfulness course includes guided meditation and simple breathing exercises for kids to target specific areas of the brain.

Source:  https://www.mindful.org/mindfulness-for-kids/

Why should mindfulness be incorporated into classrooms?

Mindfulness has been linked to many behavioral changes including:

  • Increase in ease of learning 
  • Increase in emotional stability
  • Increase in positive behaviors
  • Decrease in stress and anxiety

When guided meditation and breathing practices are incorporated into classrooms, students are likely to focus better on tasks that require concentration, respond with less reactivity, and remain engaged in tasks even when emotionally stimulated.

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