Why Mindfulness Matters
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Why Mindfulness Matters

Children, parents, and  communities everywhere are under an unprecedented amount of stress: Personal trauma, loss of a loved one, fear,  economic and learning loss, and continuing uncertainty. And while we can't necessarily control our environment or what is happening to us,  we can learn to control our thoughts and behaviors by practicing mindfulness.

The practice of mindfulness is about observing your thoughts for exactly what they are thoughts. When you practice being mindful you begin to realize your thoughts do not define you or control you- they are simply thoughts. Once you can observe your thoughts from a detached manner it is easier to let go of stress and anxiety. Mindfulness is kind awareness of the present moment without judgment. Focusing on the present, not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

There are thousands of studies that show Mindfulness is good for us. Mindfulness gives us tools to help cope with every day real life challenges. Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment, where we are, how we feel, what are we thinking. It teaches us to be in the now  with kind awareness  and without judgement.  Mindfulness is like exercise for the brain and makes us stronger and gives us tools to help cope with challenges and change our thought patterns.

 

According to study at Harvard  our brains wonder about 47% of the time. Think about what you are missing in the "now" if your mind is ruminating on something from your past or thinking or worrying about something in the future. Practicing mindfulness helps keep our mind  in the present, in the now rather than getting lost in the past or future.  

Each of us  have about 60,000-70,000 thoughts a day. Most of those thoughts are unconscious and negative. With mindfulness we understand that we are not our thoughts. Once we become aware of this  we realize we have the power to change our thoughts.

What you practice grows stronger.   Mindfulness training has shown it can lead to structural changes in the brain that develop and enhance the qualities of: attention, learning, compassion, kindness and patience.   There are continual studies that show neurons that fire together wire together. Repeated experiences shape our brain.  Practicing mindfulness helps neuroplasticity, which is the brains ability to change and grow. Neurons grow due to repeated practice. Our thoughts truly create our reality.

 

 

 

Benefits of mindfulness for children:

 

  • Strengthens immune functioning

  • Decreases cortisol

  • Children experience more awareness of their body, thoughts and emotions

  • Children are better able to stay more focused

  • Decreases stress, children can experience less stress and anxiety

  • Mindfulness can improve impulse control and interpersonal skills

  • Executive function can increase

  • Can improve memory

  • Can help make better decisions

  • Can help creativity

  • Can improve resilience and confidence