For a long time I never really understood meditation. I always found it impossible to lay and think about nothing because as soon as I try to think about nothing I am thinking about not thinking.
If every child in the world learned meditation we would eliminate violence from our the world within one generation. -Dali Lama
But I keep reading that meditating is important. Like movement is needed for your body, stillness is needed for your mind. Meditation helps to reduce stress, to sleep better, and be more intuitive. When ideas spark from a peaceful place instead of a chaotic one, they are more powerful and help you to get closer to your dreams and goals.
I’ve gotten myself on a pretty consistent meditation routine and so I decided to try and teach my boys, they are 9 and 10. I thought they would hate it but to my suprise, they loved it and wanted to do it again and again. Now my 10 year old has worked his way up to 10 minute sessions and my 9 year old is at 2 minutes.
You too can teach your kids and do it with them, its a lot of fun! These are the steps we took to learn how:
- Lay down flat on your back, eyes closed, get ready to do nothing for one minute.
- Set a timer so you know when time is up. I like the app Insight Timer, it has features to help you set up your sessions and it’s also helpful to see your activity logs to keep track of consistency. Like exercise, mediation doesn’t work as well when you do it just once in a while, but over time, you start to see results. I let my boys set up the pings on the timer, it’s an interactive way for them to be part of the process and makes it more fun.
- Be sure to lay very still. Any movement you make will create activity in your brain, so staying as still as possible is important. You want to ease your mind as much as possible. It’s pretty common to feel the urge to move or scratch an itch or clear your throat but when you get that feeling just repeat a simple affirmation, “I have and body, I am not my body.” Repeating this a couple times in your mind usually works very well and the urge to move goes away.
- Focus on your breathing. Just breathe normally and put your attention to the sound and pace of your breathing.
- It’s not important to stop yourself from thinking. If you try not to think, you naturally will do exactly that. So forget that idea. If a thought comes in it’s okay. Allow it to float away and get back to focusing on your breathing.
- That’s it! Just lay and feel your body relaxing, wait for the timer to ding, that’s all you have to do. Do this daily and you will begin to see many positive changes in yourself and your kids.
Have you tried meditating with your kids? Share your story in the comments below!