Mindfulness Won’t Save Back-to-School
Unlike what many blog articles may propose, mindfulness practices aren’t designed to simply cure immediate anxieties and stressors. Instead, here’s what this practice can do.
Sometimes, we don’t make the time for children to reflect on how they’re feeling or the emotions they are currently experiencing. This time is important, because it can help us better understand how the triggers from everyday affect us. A mindfulness practice may give kids the space to draw their attention to themselves, instead of the activities happening around them. Through concentration on self, they can become more aware of how they feel through the quickness of their breath, tension they may hold in the body, and their body’s response to light and simple movement.
Create Space for an Informed Response
Once kids are aware of how they feel, they have a better opportunity to take control of their response to the world around them. Sometimes, having the understanding that we are feeling a certain way, or experiencing a specific emotion, guides us to a different choice. For example, some people that acknowledge that they feel angry may choose to respond to that trigger in a less hostile way, even if their feelings call for otherwise. This is a helpful tool, because it may change the effectiveness of a response, and help it become more balanced and nuanced to the world around it.
Replace a Different Practice
A mindfulness practice – whether listening to a guided meditation, taking a couple deep breaths, flowing through a couple poses, or sitting with intention – is rarely practiced in place of nothing. We are so busy, especially children – so the introduction of a mindfulness practice usually replaces an existing practice instead. It may be time spent zoned out with technology, or avoiding tough feelings / emotions, or unstructured time at school. Hopefully, a mindfulness practice proves more productive – whether because it’s more informative, healthier, calming, etc. – than the practice in which it replaces.