How can meditation help children with anxiety?

Struggling to help your child manage stress and anxiety? Find out how meditation can be a helpful tool to help your child manage anxiety.

Tue Jan 24, 2023

Anxiety is a part of life, and it is typical for children to feel it occasionally. When anxiety becomes severe or chronic, it can interfere with a child's everyday functioning and quality of life. Physical signs of high anxiety in children include stomach aches, headaches, and troubles in sleeping. They may also find it difficult to focus, engage in school or other activities, or detach from their caretakers. 

Remember that kids are still learning how to cope with and manage their emotions. Parents may assist their children develop coping mechanisms and offer assistance as required.

One of the powerful tools that can help children manage anxiety is meditation. It can help to quiet the mind and relax the body, which is particularly good for kids who are prone to nervous thoughts and feelings. Here are a few ways that meditation can help children who are anxious:

1. Reduces stress: Meditation can help children calm down by teaching them to focus on the present moment and let go of fears about the past or the future.

2. Improves self-awareness: Meditation can help kids become more aware of their thoughts and feelings, which can aid with anxiety management. Children can learn to respond to anxious thoughts and feelings in a more helpful way by learning to recognise them as they emerge.

3. Promotes self-regulation: Meditation can assist youngsters in better regulating their emotions and actions. This is especially beneficial for kids who struggle with impulsivity or emotional management.

4. Improves self-esteem: Children who meditate may develop a greater feeling of self-acceptance and self-worth, which can be useful for children who suffer from anxiety.

5. Make it age-appropriate: When teaching meditation to children, it's critical to choose practises that are appropriate for their age. Children have shorter attention spans and may struggle to sit quietly for extended amounts of time. It may be beneficial to begin with shorter meditation sessions (5-10 minutes) and gradually expand the time as your child gets more comfortable.

6. Utilize visual aids: To assist children focus during meditation, use visual aids such as colouring pages or meditation cards.

7. Use guided meditations: It may be simpler for children to begin meditating if they have someone to lead them through the process. There are several children's meditation apps and websites that provide guided meditations developed exclusively for children.

8. Make it pleasant: Children are more inclined to participate in activities that they find exciting. Try to make meditation a pleasant and engaging experience for your child by introducing play elements such as toys or movement.

9. Regular practise: Meditation, like any discipline, takes practice to improve. Encourage your child to meditate on a daily basis to reap the maximum benefits.

10. Play soothing music or natural soundscapes: Some kids may find it easier to relax and focus while they are listening to peaceful music or nature sounds. Meditation music and environmental sounds are widely available online and on streaming platforms.

11. Encourage deep breathing: Deep breathing is a simple yet effective method for anxiety management. You can also employ a counting or visualisation approach to assist your child in focusing on their breath.

12. Include movement: Some children may find it easier to relax and concentrate when they move their body. Consider incorporating stretching into your child's meditation practice.

13. Practice positive affirmations: Positive affirmations can help children develop self-confidence and cope with anxiety. Encourage your kid to meditate by reiterating positive affirmations to themselves, such as "I am strong and competent" or "I am worthy and deserving of love."

While all the above tips work at a superficial level, BodhiShishu's techniques work at the subconscious level of the child for lasting results. All our programs are age-appropriate, fun and engaging. Always keep in mind that every child is unique, and what works for one child may not work for another. It is important to be patient and try multiple methods to see what works best for your child. That's why all our programs have techniques for all learner types- Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic. Your child can learn the skills needed to be calm and stress-free with practise and encouragement.

Darshan Bawa

Founder- BodhiShishu, Social- Emotional Learning (SEL) and potential growth coach for kids. Passionate about helping children unleash their full potential.

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