Exams are always going to be stressful for students. Not only do they require a long period of studying and learning, but there’s also the stress around knowing how important they are and how much they can impact on your future. One way you can help ease the stress around exams is to introduce your child to mindfulness – the perfect ninja tool for exam preparation!
The benefits of mindfulness are numerous. Mindfulness promotes happiness, reduces stress and helps release anxiety. It helps you to focus on what’s in front of you and ignore everything else. This is what makes it a perfect tool for you to teach your children, to help them with their schooling, exam preparation and life generally.
Mindfulness is not just a tool for exam preparation – it’s a great life skill too!
Throughout their early and teenage years, children are grappling with emotions, hormones and feelings. They’re adjusting to different periods of growth and learning how to foster relationships with their friends and family, whilst also juggling schooling and generally navigating life. Mindfulness can help them form a useful habit that will last a lifetime – one that will help them manage any change and challenges they have to face as they grow up and once they become adults, too.
Life can be stressful for children, no matter how young or old they are. Mindfulness is a tool they can use to stay in the present moment and teach them how to adopt a non-judgemental attitude to everything they do and encounter. It helps keep them calm and accepting of the things that are happening around and to them.
And being able to be present in the moment offers them relief and peace, whilst teaching them how to better care for themselves.
Ways to practice mindfulness
As stated in the New York Times article entitled ‘Mindfulness for Children’, one of the best ways to teach mindfulness is to practice it yourself. Here is a brief rundown of how you can start practising mindfulness in your daily life – they’re also a great way to introduce it to your older children too!
Work on being present with each other and yourself
Put down your phone and give others your attention, when you’re in each other’s company. Start giving yourself space to figure things out, when you’re struggling or overwhelmed, and look to implement meditation into your daily routine.
Foster feelings of calmness and happiness. Your children feed off you, as you do them. Practice taking a moment to breathe and get calm, whenever you feel yourself getting irate or stressed.
This helps you stay in the present moment and focus on what’s around you, how you’re feeling, as well as what emotions you’re experiencing.
Spend time on activities that require focus and creativity
Activities such as painting, reading, art and crafts, all help you be present in the moment. They draw your attention and focus on being in the now, ignoring any distractions around you.
The art of letting things go and not letting them affect how you think or feel, moving forward.
I recommend you take a look at Insight Timer. It’s a smartphone app and online community for meditation – but it’s also a great app for children to use themselves: https://insighttimer.com/meditation-topics/children.
Also, take a read of Positive psychology’s article entitled ‘25 fun mindfulness activities for children and teens’. It gives you some great ideas to try with your children, to help them embrace mindfulness: https://positivepsychology.com/mindfulness-for-children-kids-activities/