Why Practice Mindfulness?
The world we live in has changed. There was a time when children rushed home from school to play with friends – outside. Today, children are up early, at school by 7am until 5 or 6pm or they are involved in numerous after school activities. Parents work long hours, come home to fix dinner, help with homework and start it all over again. The world is one big stress ball. Life affects all of us, even our very young. Mindfulness is a way to help gain control and to be able to navigate through the stress of work, school and life.
Body Benefits of Mindfulness
- Feeling in control
- Making meaningful relationships
- Accepting experiences without denying facts
- Managing difficult feelings
- Being calm, resilient, compassionate and empathetic
Brain Benefits of Mindfulness
- Improved sustained attention
- Improved visual spatial memory, working memory, and concentration
- Increased blood flow to create a thickening of the cerebral cortex in areas associated with attention and emotional integration
- Reduction in gray matter density which decreases stress and anxiety
School Benefits of Mindfulness
- Improved capability to respond versus react
- Improved self-control and self-regulation skills
- Strengthened resiliency and decision making
- Reduced peer to peer conflict
- Improved social skills, such as empathy, compassion, patience, and generosity
- Increased students academic success
- 8% of teens ages 13-18 have an anxiety disorder with symptoms emerging around age 6.
- About 11% of adolescents have a depressive disorder by age 18. According to the World Health Organization, major depression is the leading cause of disability among Americans ages 15-44.