Did you know that mindfulness, a form of meditation, can actually grow your brain?
A group of Harvard neuroscientists, who studied the brains of people who embarked on an 8-week mindfulness course, found that their grey matter increased in the areas of the brain involved in:
learning and memory,
sense of self,
and having perspective.
What's more, there were also decreases in brain cell volume in the amygdala, which is responsible for:
And these changes matched the participants’ self-reports of their stress levels, indicating that meditation not only changes the brain, but it changes our subjective perception and feelings as well. In fact, a follow-up study, the researchers found that after meditation training, changes in brain areas linked to mood were also linked to improvements in how participants said they felt — i.e., their psychological well-being.
So how young can kids start using the mindfulness tool?
As children develop into early childhood (around age 4), they become capable not only of practicing mindfulness with the guidance of a parent or caregiver, but also of retaining some of these skills and turning to them in times of need.
How Can I Start Meditating with the Kids?
Here are 10 simple meditation exercises you and your kids can try today: