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How Mindful Practices Benefit Children & Adolescents

I'm sure you have heard about the multitude of benefits associated with practicing mindfulness techniques for adults.  In fact, practicing mindfulness has become somewhat of a phenomenon having been proven to deliver significant growth of one’s self-awareness and emotional stability. (Thompson & Gilbert, Mindfulness with Children and Adolescents: Effective Clinical Application, 2008)

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What we sometimes don't consider, is that mindfulness is also hugely beneficial for our children. By teaching them to bring a gentle and accepting perspective to the present moment, mindfulness techniques can be used to reduce stress and anxiety and develop a compassionate attitude.

7 ways that Mindfulness has been proven to help children: 

  1. Practicing mindful activities teaches children the skill to focus and concentrate on a task they are completing, without getting distracted. 
  2. Even children get stressed at times, but with mindful skills in tow, they are in much better positions to remain calm. 
  3. The ability to realize that when something that causes a negative emotion occurs and causes taking a moment to center and calm yourself will help you to take a controlled approach in finding a solution.  
  4. Children can often experience social anxiety and stress and having the ability to take a moment to gather yourself and calm your mind is of huge benefit here. 
  5. It can be difficult for children to understand and practice patience, but mindful activities help children deal with this. 
  6. Mindfulness is known to help the development of cognitive control, working memory and cognitive flexibility in adults, and the same goes for children. It has also been proven to help student's perform at a higher academic standard
  7. Mindfulness practice can help children to improve their attentiveness and control their impulses

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From the moment we are born, we all face adversity of some type. Whether it is something as fleeting as hunger or tiredness or something much more serious, it is crucial that we teach our children practices designed to help them to cope in these difficult situations. Many schools are incorporating mindful practices and activities into their school curriculums, to decrease anxiety in its student body and to advocate for the importance of happiness.

The comprehensive mindfulness concept teaches us to pay attention to the present moment in an accepting and compassionate manner. This particular practice is one that benefits everyone, from high-level executives, athletes to even small children.

Instilling these healthy habits in childhood will inform actions and behaviors in adulthood. Mindful practices and activities primarily promote skills that are controlled in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, where the ability to focus and concentrate are centered, which is one of the reasons that mindfulness has a major impact on academic performance. While our brains constantly develop throughout our lives, connections in the prefrontal cortex are at their fastest during childhood.

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At DrumFIT, we believe in the power of mindfulness, and we are working to bring you all some great Mindful and Meditation Activities that you can use after a physical activity to cool down or even just in the classroom, when you feel that students would benefit from a quick breathing activity to calm them and focus on task.

Keep an eye out for more information about DrumFIT Mindfulness Routines!

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