How mindfulness affects the brain
Mindfulness techniques are used by experts all over the world to help teach people to manage their emotions in a positive way including psychologists and medical researchers. The University of Oxford even has its own dedicated Mindfulness Centre, which continues to research the effects and development of mindfulness techniques.
Teaching mindfulness techniques to children can help them become more aware of their feelings and emotions, and teaches them positive ways of addressing and responding to those emotions.
These techniques can include breathing exercises, muscle relaxations, affirmations, positive affirmations, and meditation or visualisation. Relax Kids uses all of these techniques throughout the entire product range and in Relax Kids Classes to help children learn how to deal positively with emotions like anger, worry, stress and low self-esteem.
There have been studies to record whether mindfulness techniques can actually affect the way we experience emotions, rather than just improving the way we respond to them.
Dr Zindel Segal from the University of Toronto conducted a study that showed that mindfulness can affect the way we experience sadness. In his study, he taught half his group of volunteers mindfulness techniques, whereas the other half of the group received no mindfulness training. He then showed both groups the same set of video clips that were designed to invoke sadness, while scanning their brains to see which areas of the left and right side were activated.
The group that had received mindfulness training had more balanced activations in both the left and right sides of the brain than those who had no mindfulness training, and importantly, they showed less self-referencing (fear, guilt, shame, etc.) while experiencing emotion.
By reducing the activation of the region associated with the self, mindfulness can help children view their emotions from a more detached point of view, and therefore deal with these emotions more effectively.
If you would like your children to learn mindfulness techniques, but don’t know where to start, the Relax Kids ME range introduces children to mindfulness in a fun, simple and way through audio visualisation. Check out our online shop to learn more about our ME range – https://relaxkids.com/store/product-category/mp3s/