Could a meditation app make your children happier? [Photo: Rex Features]
Mindfulness has been having a moment. The Headspace meditation app, which was launched in 2010, currently has more than 7 million users and counts Gwyneth Paltrow and Emma Watson amongst its celebrity fans.
Devotees of the app report feeling calmer, happier and having an overall improved sense of wellbeing, and makers are hoping the same effects will be seen on little ones now that it has introduced a mini version of the app for children.
Headspace For Kids aims to encourage children to feel “calm and focused” through a series of short meditation exercises.
“Maintaining a healthy and happy mind is essential throughout life, but there is no better time to learn than when we are young,” explains co-founder Andy Puddicombe.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to give young people the skills that they need to find a greater sense of calm, focus and connection in their life.”
“It’s about creating a cultural shift in the way we think about health, nurturing the development of the mind, and providing the foundations of health and happiness for an entire lifetime ahead.”
Headspace has introduced a version of its popular meditation app for children [Photo: Instagram/Rex Features]
And exhausted parents rejoice because the app also promises to help kids fall asleep and wake up peacefully.
“It’s almost as though meditation was designed for kids,” Andy Puddicombe continued.
“They just ‘get it’ – there is this elasticity and freedom in their minds which allows them to be present in the moment and free from any external thoughts or pressures.
“By introducing meditation and mindfulness at an early age, not only can we build on this and help nurture their mind development, but we are also making meditation simple and accessible.”
The app offers soothing sounds, breathing exercises, visualisation exercises and focus-based meditation for under fives, six to eight-year-olds and nine to 12-year-olds and has five themes for kids to explore: Calm, focus, kindness, sleep and wake up.
Experts believe meditation can have several beneficial effects on children’s emotional, mental and intellectual development helping children to tune into themselves, sleep better and develop better social skills.
And meditation can also help enhance memory, improve behaviour, and encourage kids to cope with difficult situations. In one study, mindfulness exercises including meditation were found to significantly reduce anxiety and improve emotional control in children.
Altogether now kids ‘Ommmmmm’
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