Whilst meditation has mainly been preserved for adults, there is a new and increasing interest of the practice by kids. Introduced in the early developmental stage of young children, meditation can have huge benefits than when adopted in adulthood.
Originally meant to nurture a person’s spiritually well-being, the modern generation relies on meditation for its relaxation and stress-busting benefits. If children start meditating earlier, their brains and intellectual capacity develop more rapidly as they stand to benefit emotionally, psychologically and physically.
Studies on mindfulness in schools also suggest a generally positive effect on decreasing anxiety and increasing performance along with improved grades and attendance. One school district in California expanded its school day by half an hour in some of its “high-risk” schools to build meditation into the day. The schools have since reported better attendance and grades, fewer suspensions and generally happier and less aggressive kids. Fortunately, research has supported this – one study found that mindfulness helped kids during high-stakes testing, by reducing their anxiety and boosting working memory. A few others suggested mindfulness-based training may help school achievement also.
In addition to the above, studies also show that meditation helps with social-emotional development. One study found that a social-emotional learning program coupled with mindfulness was more effective than a classic “social responsibility” program. Kids in the former treatment had greater empathy and emotional control compared to the other group, boasting lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than their counterparts.