Much has been written as to the benefits of a meditation practice. A decrease in anxiety and depression. Plus all the physical benefits. While most of these meditation benefits are studied in adults, two questions remain. Where did all these adults learn to be anxious and depressed in the first place? And what would have happened had they started to meditate earlier in life?
Denise Ryan in her latest The Age post, introduces us to several schools in Australia that use meditation as a way to help their students not only develop better interpersonal relationships, but also to focus in a world full of distractions.
Ms Etty-Leal says mindfulness is essential for primary-age children, particularly with the increasing incidence of syndromes such as attention deficit disorder. “If children are unable to settle and manage emotions such as anxiety, then they are not learning.”
Children face many distractions, she says, such as mobile phones and digital technology, which makes it difficult to think deeply. “Neural pathways can become scrambled and less effective, which disrupts learning. When moments of sustained focus, silence and stillness become rare experiences, some children even find them uncomfortable, associating them with negative feelings such as boredom and disconnection.”
Read more about how meditation is being used with children to help prevent future anxiety and depression here.