Mindfulness For Kids
*Kids these days*
Kids these days are faced with countless distractions. Whether it be their extra curriculars, family dynamics, or technology, children and youth are living in a fast paced and overstimulated world. In many ways it seems like kids are forced to grow up faster simply because they are exposed to so much stimuli. When children are distracted, they lose the ability to connect to the present moment and harness their attention. I also think that because this current generation is ‘plugged in’ from a very young age, they are missing out on opportunities to develop necessary life skills such as self regulation, self awareness, emotional intelligence, and basic problem-solving abilities. It is so tempting to turn Google for answers rather than taking a moment to pause and think about the situation.
For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with anxiety. I remember as a kid having panic attacks and not being able to catch my breath. For me, my anxiety manifested in a very physiological response. Dizziness, hot flashes, shortness of breath, headaches, stomach pains, etc. The anxiety came to a peak when I was in high school and was consumed with an eating disorder. It felt like I had no control over my thoughts and emotions, and that the world was happening to me, rather than for me. It wasn’t until I started practicing yoga that I was able to gain self awareness and learn the fundamentals of mindfulness. Yoga and mindfulness has profoundly impacted my life and I wish so badly that I would have had the opportunity to experience it as a child, so that I could have learned coping skills and self regulation at a younger age.
Fast forward to where I am now- a mom of two young hurricanes… I mean boys. Things have come full circle for me as I have watched my own children struggle to manage their emotions and attention. When my oldest was two I realized that I needed to do something (quick!) to provide him with tools for developing self regulation and self awareness. Cue: mindfulness! I introduced simple breathing exercises, visualization, sensory activities, games that focused on emotional intelligence, and so much more. Eventually his focus and attention improved, and he was better equipped to manage his emotions. My goal has been to teach my children how to be mindful of their thoughts, emotions, reactions, and bodies. Once I started to see progress, I realized that mindfulness can be a vehicle for change in the lives of many. Since then, I have started my business - Mindful and Mighty to reach as many children in Calgary as I can and provide them with an opportunity to learn mindful awareness.