Mindfulness training for children and teenagers.
I have mentioned something of mindfulness and in this chapter, I will go into detail about it.
Over 30 years ago Kabat-Zinn, who is widely recognised as the founder of medically and contemporary based mindfulness. He developed the mindful based stress reduction method (MBSR) of therapeutic meditation. He defines it as, 'Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally'.
Julian Garey expands further on this saying, mindfulness is the meditation practise where you start paying attention to your breathing so as you can set your focus within the here and now. And that is not on what might be or even might have been, or what your worries could be. The achievement or ultimate goal of mindfulness is to give yourself conscious distance from worries, anxious emotions and disturbing thoughts. This is whilst the sublime state becomes an observation of these states without immediately and consciously reacting towards the disturbing anxiousness.
So how do you manage to explain mindfulness of this state to a 5 year old? When Dr Amy Saltzman teaches children mindfulness, she prefers not to explain it, but rather to let the child feel experience first by letting them find their, 'Still and quiet place'.
They begin by paying attention to their breath and the feelings of the contraction and expansion of the outward and inward breath and the stillness in between those breaths. She does this by getting them to rest between the breathing pattern. At these points she explains to them that the still and quiet place is always within us. She continues with, when we excited, happy, when we are angry or sad, or frustrated. She says that they can feel it in their body. By doing this it then becomes a self-felt inner experience of their sublime awareness. In this way they can then learn how to gain an inner observation of their emotional feelings and thoughts. In this way a child can then start to choose their behaviours. She not only works with children who have anxiety, but depression and anger management as well as autism and ADHD.
Saltzman has carried out study along with other researchers at Stanford university. This study has shown that after just 8 weeks of training in mindfulness, the fourth to the sixth graders within the study showed documented proof of decreases in their anxiety and also an improvement in their attention. The children were also less emotionally reactive, so making them more able to cope with their daily challenges by choosing their behaviour.
Mindfulness training is not only for the very young, but for teenagers as well. Teenagers benefit from mindfulness, just like the very young and adults as well.
Randye Semple who is an assistant professor in the university of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, has developing programs on how to teach children about anxiety and how to quiet their minds. When she sees childhood anxiety she sees a precursor to problems caused in teenage and adult life. She has said that if we could manage the anxiety that we can head off a lot of the other problems as well. She is the writer and co-author of, 'Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for children'.
A study she carried out with the co-author Jennifer Lee - a clinical psychologist - that was carried out from 2000-2003 has shown that there can be significant reductions in the two conditions of anxiety and behaviour problems in the 8-12 year olds who participated in the research program.
The teaching of mindfulness to children and teenagers has become a growing trend in private practises. It is a part of therapy and has become increasingly used in special and general education classes throughout America.
Meditation and the body/brain barrier.
Your mind is taken away from anxiety in meditation of positivism and is the way of focusing away from the negatives of anxiety. It is not 'fight or flight' but ‘disassociation’ in the sympathetic nerve. And rather, 'rest and digest' of the parasympathetic nerve. These use the right-hand- side of the amygdala where calm, peace and relaxation of motion exists. By staying focused on the present in this way, you can learn to use this brain training to interrupt the flow of negative worry from thoughts. They are simply given a comfortable and quiet place to sit and use neuro-linguistic programming recordings.
Many thanks for the research partly goes to https://childmind.org