It’s common knowledge that meditation offers research proven benefits like increasing immunity, reducing anxiety, and improving sleep, to name just a few.
However, there are several unexpected ways that meditation benefits kids. While these benefits may not be scientifically proven, parents, teachers, and kids themselves, can vouch for their efficacy.
1. Meditation offers kids a quiet space to just be.
Think about that for a moment. How many times in a day does a child have a chance to just focus on quiet self-care? Taking gentle breaths? Acknowledging their feelings with acceptance and not judgement? When kids enter a quiet meditative space they feel calmer and have better self-awareness and self-regulation. When kids experience the calm of meditation they are likely to seek meditation opportunities on their own, by asking for a favorite meditation story, using soothing techniques without prompting, and being better able to manage big emotions. Children who meditate are more peaceful, less reactive, and have more resilience.
2. Meditation teaches kids self-care practices.
As adults, we’re used to recognizing cues that we’re overstressed and over-stimulated. Kids don’t typically learn this skill, rather they push themselves too far beyond their ability to cope. Think of a young child at a carnival. They keep going and going until they conk out, and usually with a meltdown or two along the way. When kids meditate, they become in harmony with their minds and bodies. They learn to recognize cues their body is sending them, whether that is needing to eat or drink, rest, or even give themselves a quiet break from activity.
Time spent in meditation allows kids to become experts in their own needs as they learn to focus on becoming aware of things around and within them. Children who meditate care for themselves. They are kinder to themselves and care more about the feelings and emotions of others.
3. Meditation develops imagination.
Developing the skills of imagination and visualization, which meditation does quite well, can enhance a child’s life in many ways. Imagination leads to creativity, problem-solving, and the ability to distance yourself from a problem. Think about this: when adults are stressed they often get away by taking a vacation or going out into nature. This time away gives them space to distance themselves from problems. It also supports the ability to creatively deal with stressors when they return.
In this same way, meditation offers kids mini-vacations where they can get away from whatever is on their minds. Meditation gives kids the space to see things in a new perspective. Having the ability to creatively problem solve boosts their autonomy and self-confidence which results in happier and more well-adjusted kids.