The WHO (World Health Organisation) is officially saying that we need 9 hours of sleep per night, not 8 hours like we initially thought.
Why? Because of all the “screen time” (computers, phones, ipads, ipods) we are now being exposed to. We are being literally over-dosed with technology.
If we are being stimulated so much then how do we counter-balance with mindfulness and stillness?
We all know we are in a modern world which comes with many upsides like our technology advances and many downsides like stress, rushed activity and EMF (electro-magnetic frequency) surrounding us all of the time.
We weigh up the dangers of our lifestyle every day and make decisions that we feel is going to be best for our family and children. That’s totally cool, but are we doing enough to really teach children about presence, visualisation, focus and mindfulness? Are we giving these little souls real life coping skills?
As adults in business and at home, we know the value of meditation, stopping to smell the roses, time out and general wellness. Even Google is now hiring a new role called “Head of Global Wellness”!
In the adult world we realise the power of mindfulness and meditation to be powerful and vital. We all strive to build a stronger meditation practice and many of us learn tools to cope emotionally and feel better in times of stress.
But, are we teaching our kids from a young age to be mindful and to master this skill?
We rush them to swimming, tennis, after school programs and so on. The parent that teaches their child true mindfulness, will be giving their child one of the biggest helping hands they can in today’s world. Learning how to stay centered, calm, focussed and internally present is indeed a highly critical skill.
Learning how to be still and happy within your own body without being constantly entertained is key.
I think any child growing up today with the level of technology and pace of life we have needs to have these basic skills to be “well”. At least Google thinks so…
One of my projects in the next 6 months is to create some meditations to help keep kids mindful and well, so please get in touch with us so we can keep you posted when we release the CD. In the interim, here are tips to help your child stay truly mindful and strong.
- Get your child to spend 5- 10 minutes a day where they study something in nature. In positive psychology they call this “fascination with nature”. Choose a bird or a flower and keep your eyes focussed on the beauty and detail of this living creature. Notice colours, textures and patterns. This simple exercise shuts off the left “logical” brain for a few minutes and engages the creative brain.
- Create a special 5 minute bedtime ritual and get your child to practice some deep breaths whilst you talk them through a few minutes of meditation. You can ask them to feel the sensations of elements – earth, wind, air, fire. You can also ask them to visualise white light flowing through their head and down into the feet, which is a great clearing exercise to let go of any negative energy they may have collected at school or with friends.
- Limit time on computers and devices and encourage your child to get outdoors more often or doing something where they play with their hands and touch materials and real living things, not just following a screen with their eyes.