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Mindfulness for Children with Insomnia and Anxiety

Mindfulness has ancient religious roots but has gradually assimilated into American culture. In essence, mindfulness is a form of awareness. When you practice mindfulness, you tune into what you are thinking, feeling, and experiencing in the moment, releasing both the past and the future so that only the present exists. Surrounded by the hustle and bustle of modern life, mindfulness provides a positive outlet for stress. Among children, mindfulness can even help alleviate anxiety and insomnia.

Mindfulness Children

The Impact Mindfulness Has on Anxiety and Insomnia

In Buddhism, mastery of mindfulness is the first step on the path to enlightenment, where you release yourself from the cycle of suffering and perceive the truth about life. In this same vein, various meta-analyses point to the powerful effects of mindfulness in easing anxiety. Dr. Mark Bertin at New York Medical College explains, “Because we’re seeing things more clearly and with less reactivity, we’re more able to appreciate the things that are going well and we’re more able to manage skillfully the things that aren’t.” Furthermore, a mindfulness practice has been shown to moderate insomnia, as it promotes greater psychological wellness that makes treating such disorders easier.

The Benefits of Mindfulness for Children

The Child Mind Institute reports that almost a third of adolescents suffer from an anxiety disorder. For adults, psychotherapy and medication often helps, but due to the increased risks of these methods in children, they may need a different approach to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. Research in the last decade by sociologists and psychologists suggests that mindfulness may be one answer. Mindfulness not only reduces anxiety and improves sleep in children but also enriches social skills, develops confidence, contentment, and gratitude, and refines concentration and creativity.

How to Practice Mindfulness With Your Children

Because children think differently than adults, you may have to approach mindfulness practices differently. It helps to first have your own mindfulness practice established. After all, you should know what it means to be mindful before you teach your child. Your child is also more likely to practice mindfulness if they see that you do. Moreover, your own mindfulness will help you better understand what your child is feeling and how to help them. It’s especially important to keep mindfulness fun for your child. You certainly don’t want mindfulness, which is intended to relieve stress, to become stressful itself. Talking, quiet time, unplugging from technology together, and mindful breathing are good places to start.

Mindfulness Tools and Literature for Kids and Parents

In recent decades, researchers, medical professionals, and parents have become more aware of the positive impact that mindfulness can have on anxiety, insomnia, and other stresses that children experience. Online, print, and video resources are plentiful and readily available to help your child adopt a mindfulness practice that encourages better physical and mental well-being. Explore the apps, games, websites, and books that you can use with your family as you practice mindfulness together.

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Logan Block

Logan Block

Logan is the Director of Content at Sleepopolis and the main mattress man around these parts. A Buffalo native, Logan spent several years working in project management in both Boston and New York City. In his free time Logan likes walking his dog, lifting weights, and searching for the best cheeseburger in New York City.
Logan Block

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