Don’t ever underestimate the power of mindfulness.
Often a concept that we come across as adults, mindfulness is making a strong case as more and more evidence is proving the benefits of practicing this as children. Maybe creating a safe and positive place for our kids to learn might begin with creating some space for them to breathe?
Did you know that children today are faced with an unforeseen amount of stress and anxiety? According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, 25% of 13- to 18-year-olds will experience an anxiety disorder. The global pandemic, social media, increasing scholastic pressures are just a few mediums responsible for the new type of pandemic. In response to this, we are so proud to now offer Mental Health Services at TinyEYE In today’s complex world, schools are asked to reach beyond academic and physical education to help children learn while overcoming issues from anxiety and depression to PTSD and ADHD, or addiction and self harm. We know mental health greatly influences a child’s ability to thrive, and TinyEYE wants to help!
TinyEYE’s Mental Health Program provides schools with access to qualified mental health professionals, timely assessments, experienced counselors, and customized support tools so you can make a difference in your students’ lives. Whether you need a full suite of mental health support, or assistance serving a growing caseload for your existing staff, TinyEYE offers online access to the support and resources your students need to succeed. Now lets explore how mindfulness can be an important tool when addressing mental health.
Mindfulness is the idea of learning how to be fully present and engaged in the moment, aware of your thoughts and feelings without distraction or judgment. Sounds easy and natural, doesn’t it? It is actually a skill that takes practice and patience, but once mastered, it can be extremely beneficial. Mindfulness can help improve your well-being and quality of life. It may help reduce stress and anxiety and assist mental and physical health. Mindfulness can help us look at our own lives more clearly. It can help develop a different relationship with our experiences and it can give us space to look at problems from all perspectives, without becoming lost in difficult thoughts or feelings that only make us feel worse.
We love how the New York Times explained why mindfulness is so effective for children. Basically, it can be explained by the way the brain develops: “While our brains are constantly developing throughout our lives, connections in the prefrontal circuits are created at their fastest rate during childhood. Mindfulness, which promotes skills that are controlled in the prefrontal cortex, like focus and cognitive control, can therefore have a particular impact on the development of skills including self-regulation, judgment and patience during childhood.”
Teaching children the powerful tool of mindfulness can help them function well in school and in life. Wondering about how you can incorporate mindfulness into the classroom?
Here are a few easy ways:
- Mindful Breathing – Slow, conscious breathing will help your kids manage their feelings and shift their mind-body states. Try teaching them “Bee Breaths” by breathing in through your nose and with your mouth closed, exhale slowly and make a hum noise in the back of your throat.
- Active Mindfulness – Teach your kids to turn on their “Spiderman” senses! Ask them questions on what they can hear, see, feel, & smell. Try this during snacktime to encourage a focused sense of being.
- Gratitude Journals – Encouraging your classroom to start a gratitude journal may help the kids take notice of small, everyday details of their lives and to appreciate the good.
Well we are feeling inspired and excited about these mental health tools and again please reach out if TinyEYE can help your school with any mental health needs.