Traumatic experiences can have a lasting impact on children.
Indeed, trauma can lead to sadness, anxiety, grief and depression. And, if not dealt with properly, the effects of trauma can be long-lasting and involve developmental issues and extended mental health issues. With this said, it’s extremely important to help your child deal with a traumatic event and the aftermath.
While there are many ways to help children and teens copy with stress, yoga classes in school, calming breathing exercises and other wellness tools are great resources that you can tap into at any time.
In this article, we are going to discuss: Can yoga and mindfulness help kids deal with trauma? I think you’ll find that these tips are applicable to all kids!
What is mindfulness?
Before we dig in, let’s talk about mindfulness for kids.
Mindfulness helps you pay attention to your inner thoughts and how you feel about what’s happening right here and right now.
Mindfulness can be practiced in several different ways – including by meditating – and it focuses on relaxing your body to reduce all kinds of mental stress and anxiety. Pairing mindfulness with yoga has been proven to help mental health.
How Can Yoga and Mindfulness Help Kids Deal with Trauma
Now that you know what mindfulness is, here are 5 ways yoga and mindfulness can help kids deal with trauma.
1. Mindfulness helps children deal with stress
Children who go through trauma often have negative emotions bottled up. Since kids often don’t know how to handle stress, they can lash out. Yoga and mindfulness, however, allows children to get in touch with their deepest emotions and thoughts. And the more kids understand their emotions, the better they can handle difficult situations and feelings. More than that, kids become more adept at turning negative emotions into positive ones.
Thus, one of the benefits of yoga and mindfulness is that it helps children to deal with stress in a healthy way.
2. Yoga helps improve self-esteem
Emerging from any kind of traumatic experience can make it difficult for children to love themselves without feeling self-loathing. Yet, self-love is so important to the healing process and improved self-esteem.
Yet, yoga and mindfulness helps make it easier for children to listen to themselves and slowly learn to feel better about their own uniqueness. By connecting to their inner thoughts and calming the mind via meditation, children can also begin to make sense of the situation they have been through. Ultimately, mindfulness helps them to slowly learn to not blame themselves.
3. Being mindful makes it easier for kids to control the way they respond to situations
Anger management issues are often seen in children who have suffered some kind of trauma. Since they are so confused and often don’t understand why they went through something terrible, kids tend to respond negatively to other people and situations.
Yoga and mindfulness classes for children can be particularly beneficial as kids learn breathing exercises which help them calm down inner turmoil and reduce tension. This, in turn, enables them to think about the situation rationally rather than acting on impulse.
4. Yoga and mindfulness helps children sleep better
When dealing with traumatic situations children and teens can experience trouble falling asleep or staying asleep through the night. This can affect them physically as well as mentally.
Yoga and mindfulness, however, has been proven as one of the most effective ways to help improve sleep. As we have already mentioned, meditation teaches kids to gain control over their thoughts and achieve a peaceful state of mind. Thus, slowly they learn to relax their body and fall asleep easily at night.
Gaining more sleep each day leads to more energy and helps kids have more bandwidth to cope with anxiety..
5. Mindfulness helps improve physical health
Trauma, regardless of your age, affects both your physical and mental health. Children are no exception to this known fact, which is why it’s normal for a child’s general health to suffer due to trauma.
While we’ve already discussed how yoga and meditation can help mental health, it can also help children develop health habits. For example, when practicing mindful eating, you’re less inclined to overeat, which can lead to other health issues. And, of course, we already discussed the importance of sleep. A lack of sleep can also cause other health issues.
Mindfulness helps kids manage anxiety
Yoga and mindfulness doesn’t only help children get over trauma, but it gives them confidence. Kids learn to believe in themselves more and learn that they can live a happier life despite the bad things that may have happened in the past.
In this article, we talked about what mindfulness is as well as the important benefits of yoga and mindfulness and how yoga can help children who have gone through some kind of traumatic experience.
We hope that this helps you understand the importance of mindfulness so you can encourage children to more effectively manage their anxiety. You’ve got this!