Summit County's Mind Body Spirit Connection | 970-409-2096

An Amazingly Simple Way to Help Your Child Become Happier and Healthier

An Amazingly Simple Way to Help Your Child Become Happier and Healthier

Today, many children struggle with their social skills and have a hard time regulating their emotions. Meanwhile, their stress levels are increasing rapidly from the perpetual distractions of the digital age, high pressure to achieve, economic hardship, and emotional struggles (Kabat-Zinn, 2013). Ultimately, any one of these factors can hamper a student’s ability to learn (Tatum, 2009).

It is very important for children to learn how to pay attention, and that is where mindfulness comes into play. Mindfulness means being aware of the present moment in a non-judgmental way. Correspondingly, Summit Mindfulness teaches a comprehensive, evidence-based curriculum that fosters social and emotional awareness, psychological well-being, and academic
success.

It has been established that children’s social and emotional skills play an integral role in their academic and overall success. Neuroscientist Adele Diamond (2009) found that students who learn Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) techniques score higher on tests that require the use of the brain’s executive functions: coordinating and controlling, monitoring and troubleshooting, and reasoning and imaging.

Furthermore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that happy brains work better (Diamond, 2009). Dopamine prepares our brains for peak performance, and this dopamine surge is at its highest when students are optimistic, grateful, hopeful, and when they experience an overall sense of well-being. In addition, when kids derive pleasure from activities that generate positivity, they
are less likely to do so from high-risk activities like drug use and violent behavior, which also promote dopamine release (Galvan et al., 2006).

Here are some comments from our students:

Ian “I felt calm and relieved, and it felt nice to just focus on one thing.”

Leah “At school I am working on all these different classes, so coming here was relaxing. Doing
mindfulness helped calm me down, and it slowed down my thinking so I am more relaxed.”

Paul “It helped me relax after a long week.”

Ali “This experience made me feel satisfied because I had a rough day and have a lot of
homework, and now I think I can do my homework more peacefully, calm, and collected.”

How can your child begin practicing mindfulness today?
Every day, encourage your child to sit in a quiet place, without any distractions, and practice the following steps:
1. Sit upright in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Don’t slouch.
2. Relax your shoulders and jaw.
3. Rest your hands in your lap.
4. Close your eyes about 2/3 of the way.
5. In your head, count “1” as you inhale through your nose; then count “2” as you exhale through your nose.
6. Continue until you reach “10.” Once you reach “10,” start over with “1,” and work your way up to “10” again.
7. Repeat the process for the duration of the exercise. If you lose count, start over with “1.” Don’t worry; this is normal! The mind will wander, and you will lose count. Accepting this is a major part of practicing mindfulness.
8. Start out with about 5 minutes of this exercise. If possible, use a soft instrument like a bell to signal the beginning and end of your daily practice, and gradually increase your practice (over months or years) to about 25 minutes at a time.
9. After the closing bell sounds, open your eyes slowly. Take a deep breath and smile.

In summary, practicing mindfulness can help children earn better grades, cope with stress, and manage their emotions and behavior. Moreover, mindfulness can help them improve concentration and become more empathetic and optimistic. If you want to learn more about mindfulness, or if you’re ready for your child to improve his or her well-being, please contact
Rob at 720-300- 1896 or ravh@summit-mindfulness.com to set up your free twenty-minute consultation.

2018-03-13T17:50:42+00:00 By |