If you meditate, then you’ll already know the incredible benefits it can have on your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being. If you don’t, then I bet at some point you’ve thought;
“I’d love to meditate, but I don’t know how!”
Let me strip back some misguided beliefs surrounding meditation and give you 5 reasons to start meditating with your kids today.
“I can’t sit still for long enough”
Good news, you don’t have to! And you don’t have to sit with your legs crossed like a pretzel either. You can lie down, sit in a chair, move, change positions, scratch or stretch. You can even do a mindful walking or dance meditation. It really is a personal and flexible practise that can be tailored to suit your needs and environment.
“I don’t have time”
Pffttt. You don’t need to meditate for 7hrs in solitude to get the benefits. Some say 20mins a day is ideal, but anything is better than nothing, even if it’s just a quick 5mins to reconnect to your breath and centre yourself.
“I can’t stop my mind from wandering”
Of course, it’s only natural to have a constant stream of thoughts pass through our minds. It’s how we are wired and we never stop thinking. But with intention and practise, you can begin to quieten down those thoughts long enough to enter in to a state of rest and relaxation. It helps to find a point of focus, which is the basis of mindfulness. It can be your breathing, focusing on counting the breath in and then out. It can be a mantra repeated over and over, such as “I am calm and safe”, “Breathing in I am calm, breathing out I let go”. You could watch the flame of a candle or listen to peaceful music. To begin, do whatever you find easiest, and if thoughts come in to your head, just notice them and let them go like clouds passing in the sky. Some days are easier than others, and it gets easier each time.
“But I’m not religious or spiritual”
That’s totally fine, because meditation does not discriminate! You don’t need a religious or spiritual belief system to practise and receive the benefits from meditation.
5 Reasons to Start Meditating
1: Calm the mind
When we find ourselves becoming stressed and anxious (adults and children) we slip in to fight or flight mode, and unfortunately many of us are in this state far too often – tight muscles, sore tummies, poor sleep, over thinking, irrational fears, social anxiety, headaches, poor diet choices, destructive behaviour, heightened emotions… sound familiar? Meditation helps to calm the mind and naturally switch on our rest and relaxation response. Studies show that meditation for kids can help with attention span, focus, emotional resilience, behaviour, anxiety and depression.
2: Still the body
Our bodies, especially kids, are moving all day; muscles enganged, limbs moving, working, playing, resisting, strenghtening. Outside of sleeping, we never consciously stop and allow our bodies complete stillness. Meditation does this. It offers a moment to quieten your body and calm your nervous system. It also helps lower your heart rate, blood pressure and cortisone levels, increases blood supply to major organs, increases levels of melatonin, decreases stress hormones, slows down your breathing, and it allows your body to relax in to stillness. This is GREAT for kids at bedtime, (don’t fret, I’ve covered this in number 3..)
3: Sleep better
Oh sweet sleep. If your kids struggle to fall asleep at night because they just can’t shut down their minds or can’t keep still, then guess what??? Yep, meditation will really help here. Knowing how to still both your mind and body long enough to welcome sweet sleep is a wonderful tool for kids and adults too. Our kids use meditation stories every night to fall asleep to, you can read about it here. We use a combination of kids meditations on Youtube and guided meditations that I have written or just come up with on the spot.
4: Stress less
Stress is the most common reason for people to take up meditation. And the beauty of this practise is that it doesn’t even matter what has triggered your stress, because meditation will bring you back to the rest and relaxation state and return your body to a healthier funcitoning rhythm. Slowing your mind to be able to calmly contemplate allows you to process emotions and situations with more clarity and helps to let go of negative thought patterns. When you can step back, clear your mind and calm your emotions in times of stress and anxiety, you have a powerful life tool to keep you centred and happy.
5: Be Mindful
Meditation is the ultimate ritual of mindfulness. Being totally in the present moment. Focusing on your breath, tuning in to your body and momentarily tuning out from the noise and distraction of the world. Mindfulness helps you to focus on the present and recognise the positive aspects in each moment. This in turn prompts gratitude, and creates a positive mindset. It’s all inter-linked, so beneficial and powerful yet these are simple ways to achieve emotional well being.
So hands up if you’re tempted to try meditation now?
Try it with your kids, it’s a beautiful ritual to do together. Here’s some suggestions that we like to do:
⭐️ Lie down and place crystals on your body, put some chanting meditation on and relax in to the moment.
⭐️ Sit somewhere quiet with a crystal and think about something you’ve been worried or indecisive about. Ask your heart for guidance and answers and see what comes up.
⭐️ At bedtime, listen to a guided bedtime meditation story.
⭐️ Sit quietly in nature, close your eyes, take deep breaths and practise mindfulness using your senses. Notice what you can feel, hear, smell.
⭐️ Stand with your bare feet outside in contact with the Earth. Close your eyes and imagine roots growing down from the soles of your feet deep in to the Earth. Imagine and try to feel the Earth energy flowing back up through those roots and entering your feet, anchoring you in to the ground and making you feel strong, grounded and supported. Let the energy fill your whole body and notice what you feel.
Let me know how you go, or if you’d like any other tips to help your kids start the practise of meditation.
Love and Blessings