This new audiobook, Mindfulness for Kids by Brenda Shankey, is designed to give children the skills of mindfulness, to live in the present moment instead of squandering the precious seconds of their lives as they worry about the future and regret the past. It is also a key learning resource for face-to-face mindfulness sessions.
The weight of evidence from recent studies* concludes that mindfulness for young people is easy to carry out, fits into a wide range of contexts, is enjoyed by both students and teachers, and does no harm. Well-conducted mindfulness interventions can improve the mental, emotional, social, and physical health and well-being of young people who take part. It has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, reactivity, and bad behaviour; improve sleep and self-esteem; and bring about greater calmness, relaxation, the ability to manage behavior and emotions, selfawareness, and empathy.
Mindfulness can contribute directly to the development of cognitive and performance skills and executive function. It can help young people pay greater attention, be more focused, think in more innovative ways, use existing knowledge more effectively, improve working memory, and enhance planning, problem solving, and reasoning skills. The studies also show that adolescents who are mindful, either through their character or through learning, tend to experience greater well-being and that being more mindful tends to accompany more positive emotion, greater popularity and having more friends, and less negative emotion and anxiety. Mindfulness is therefore likely to have beneficial effects on the emotional well-being, mental health, ability to learn, and physical health of school students. Such interventions have an impact fairly quickly and are enjoyable and civilizing for pupils and staff.
*"Evidence for the Impact of Mindfulness on Children and Young People," Weare K: Emeritus Professor, Universities of Exeter and Southampton April 2012
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