Please forward this error screen methods parents appreciate children 209. Please forward this error screen to 64. The Award Winning Anxiety-Free Child Program provides information and resources to help your child overcome their anxiety FAST. You’re familiar with what happens when a baby faces food for the first time.
The food often ends up on the baby’s face! That’s because babies have an innate curiosity about everything in the world around them. You could say the baby’s action is akin to mindfulness, or paying acute attention to the world by focusing on our sensory perceptions. Mindfulness is a way of viewing and being in the world that can enhance your life, and especially the life of your anxious child.
Mindfulness is a way of exploring the world with a fresh set of eyes. Mindfulness is a way of being in the world that incorporates an acute attention to your senses and everything around you, a sense of balance that leads to a steadiness in both the mind and heart, and a dose of compassion, both for yourself and again for everything around you. Relatively, that is, since the history of mindfulness itself stretches back to Buddhism, where the concept emerged through Eastern meditation practices. Although mindfulness may have originally stemmed from meditation, and meditation is a great tool for learning to achieve mindfulness, meditation and mindfulness are decidedly not one in the same. The goal of mindfulness is to achieve an acute awareness of the world and your place in it. Mindfulness does not aim to take you or your anxious child away from the world, but rather place you more firmly in it.
MBSR was popularized by a guy named Jon Kabat-Zinn, founding executive director of the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society. Kabat-Zinn delved deep into the way the mind and body interact when it comes to healing, and found the mind can do astounding things for the body. The MBSR program consists of a series of classes that aim to teach you mindfulness meditation practices, mindful yoga and stretching, discussions, instruction and assignments all geared toward helping you use mindfulness to reduce stress and enhance your daily life. The first few weeks of the program are aimed at getting you to pay attention to your body sensations, a way of teaching you how to control your focus and attention. You continue to grow and develop your control from there, using mindfulness to help alleviate stress and things that ail you. MBSR has been used to effectively treat headaches, high blood pressure, chronic pain and illness, sleep problems and fatigue, stress and distress, and panic and anxiety.
With such widespread benefits, program participants have included everyone from judges to CEOs with Olympic athletes in between. If MBSR can do so much for so many, just think what a little general mindfulness may be able to do for your anxious child. Because mindfulness switches you and your anxious child’s perceptions from your swirling thoughts to the sensory perceptions of what’s happening around you, emotional reactions can instantly deflate. An all-consuming panic or tantrum can lose its power in mere seconds, leaving a sense of calm and control.
Anxious children get a whole different sense of being in the world that is far removed from their thoughts and emotions. They can better see what’s going on around them and develop specific skills that help them become more settled, with a steady mind and a steady heart and an overall sense of well-being. Kaiser-Greenland adds they become kinder, more compassionate and more generous. Anxious children are often overly concerned with disasters they think may happen in the future or fear dangers that don’t exist in reality. Mindfulness gently brings the anxious child back into reality to see no danger is present, no tragedy is unfolding, and no disaster is lurking beneath their feet.
All the benefits that come out of mindfulness are not just theories either. Research suggests mindfulness and mindfulness mediation practices can actually change areas of your brain engaged in the practice as well as control specific brain waves. A study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience showed that subjects that had been long-term meditators had different patterns on certain areas of the brain. This suggested the areas used for meditation’s introspection, emotional control and awareness developed at a different level than those who did not meditate regularly.