Mindfulness has become synonymous to mental and emotional health. It essentially means ‘awareness and acceptance of what is happening around us’.
Mindfulness in children is even more important as it teaches them at a very early age how to understand and adapt to their surroundings. It brings them to the present inculcating curiosity and intrigue. It enables them to control their thoughts and focus attentively rather than letting their mind wander.
Through mindfulness children are taught to be aware of their present environment; aware of what is happening around them and cognizant of the emotions it generates. They are taught to hone the skills to comprehend and manage the emotions associated with activities and events in their surroundings thereby fostering a deeper understanding of and more meaning in interpreting those actions and behaviours.
Mindfulness activities, such as yoga, meditation, exploring and connecting with nature, positive statements about oneself and others etc., teach children to pause; to connect with and soak up the environment and stimulants around them. Additionally, these exercises teach children to process that information with a positive, calm and open mind.
Though fairly recent, mindfulness exercises have demonstrated a reduction in anxiety and depression in children and an increase in concentration and the ability to cope with and manage stressful stimulants. These exercises have also been known to improve quality of life by generating positive thoughts and emotions, and nurturing inner peace, self-confidence and feelings of tranquility.
Engaging in mindfulness has also been shown to help young children build positive relationships, improve decision making capabilities, self-regulate their emotions and behaviours and build stronger social skills.
The results of early introduction to and usage of mindfulness has proven that children who engage in these activities have more control over their emotions and stronger more positive character traits. They are also more acutely aware of and responsive to the various stimulants.
In today’s ever-challenging ever-stimulating world, mindfulness is key to ground young children. It is for these reasons that at Ashwood Glen, we strongly believe in the importance of weaving mindfulness activities into our daily routine. Through yoga, meditation, engaging with nature and active listening to name a few, our students, as young as toddlers, are encouraged to openly listen to and positively respond to their emotions, thereby building resilience and coping mechanisms to manage stress and adverse stimuli throughout their lives.