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Why Mindfulness Should Start Early

How Self Awareness at a Young Age Can Have Numerous Benefits Later in Life

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Image by John Hain from Pixabay

I can’t imagine being a kid these days.  The concept of play has moved to how fast one can move his/her fingers staring into a screen.  I was trying to speak with my godchild the other day and she would not so much as lift her head from being totally immersed in the app “Mindgames”.  I don’t consider it bad in any sense, just different.  I am in my 40’s and my version of play were games such as monopoly, hide and seek or kickball outside of our house.  These days, children are dealing with so much more – filling their schedules with activities and technology that the only real quiet time is when they are tucked way in bed.  Even then, do bedtime stories still exist? ( I am not a mother so I am not one to say…)

As a professional, I get overwhelmed with the things we have to deal with on a daily basis – challenges  of the job, paying the bills, finding a social circle, etc.  I fall into that group of people who probably thinks about the small and big details and how to pretty much figure life out. And so I often, I wonder how the younger ones are dealing with all the “noise” because there definitely is a lot of it.  Is there a certain degree of exhaustion and just feeling plain tired on their part? Kids, as opposed to adults, will not just say I need a day off or I need to relax. They will just keep on going – doing the things they need to, following their friends or listening to their parents. 

I joined yoga fairly recently and pretty much need a class every time I find myself with ruminating thoughts.  No, I am not an expert in breathing exercises and I am not saying yoga is the perfect antidote to taking all your worries away.  But it does help make me more aware.  I do believe in the the whole concept of “mindfulness” because it just allows one to stop and slow down. It teaches us to be an observer in our own lives.

I often wonder that if we had concepts of yoga and mindful meditation when I was little, would I be the worrier that I am?  It would have been great that instead of our 30 minute homeroom session, we would have had some breathing and reaffirmation exercises.  Kids develop attitudes and are more inclined to stick to them down the line. No one can deny the fact that starting early helps build behaviors in the long-run.

Walk into a bookstore or just check your twitter stream and articles on self-help, anxiety and depression are vast.  Generally, these opinions are taken from an adult’s point of view but imagine if children may be going through the same feelings, and possibly experiencing more stressors than ever before?

With the pace of life as it stands in our current day of “ I am so busy,” we need to integrate meditation and being mindful into every person’s life – kids and adults alike.  There should be some quiet time or breathing session as part of a class schedule ( I admire schools that are already doing this) and it should probably be carried out conventionally across the board.  The benefits could prove effective in developing positive behaviors and personalities.  

Technology has indeed changed our lives in the last decade but we must not lose sight of the formation of a more “wholistic” self.  By improving our lives  on all levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, we achieve a level of acceptance and contentment, thereby becoming happier individuals and families at that.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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