Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Why mindfulness is necessary for Indian Children

Mindfulness is the talking point all over the world in the last few years. It's benefits to all age groups have been thoroughly researched since last 30 years . probably this is the reason big corporates companies like Google, Twitter, Intel, Aetna, Target  are training their employees. Most of the universities and schools globally have introduced mindfulness programs mainly Oxford University, Stanford University etc. What started as a stress Clinic by John Korbat Zin has become a revolution in today's fast moving world. The results in children have taken the world by surprise specially in remarkable increase in focus and concentration.
        "Rahul behave yourself. Is this the way you talk to your friends" or "You are not concentrating on your studies, that is the reason you get less marks".These are the most common discussion in most of the households in major metro cities . Today the most talked about topic in India is Digitalisation and Globalization. India is talking about 4g network and high speed internet. Internet was first accessible only on the computer, then on laptop and going further on tablet. Today is the world where we are talking about high end smart phones with powerful processors.
           So a lot information is continuously fed in our mind from the print as well as social media. This information is also available to young children who are at their developmental stage. In a study it  has shown that kids playing games on phone have developed stronger analytical skills but the socioemotional learning suffers a great deal. This is why see more aggressive behavior by most of the kids.
            Also the distraction from most of the learning activities is a common problem in most of the school going kids. Morality and religion have a strong foundation in India and is the only way parents can make their kids realize their mistakes. The high exposure to the media can at times make it difficult for today's generation to understand this. Most of the parents and teachers will agree the conventional disciplining  doesn't work with most of the kids now days.
        The basic neuroscience behind mindfulness has been extensively researched and it is found the prefrontal lobe in the brain in human child actually develops by the age of 18-20 years. This prefrontal lobe is the one responsible for regulation of our thoughts. So in school going children the emotional instability like anger, ADHD and impulsive behaviour are unchecked, hence at times children do not listen to the elders. Humans are the only mammals who have to depend on the guidance of the elders for such a long time.So there is a need to intervene and impart skills to the kids specially to deal with behavioral issues and skills of focus, Concentration, conflict resolution etc .
Mindfulness is being aware of what is happening now. Another way to describe it is to  consciously bring our attention to the present moment .It can be practiced anywhere unlike meditation where you need a particular place and posture. It can also be described as "a skill beyond meditation" . Since mindfulness is secular, it does not interfere with anyone's religious beliefs. Also basic morality for man kind like gratitude, compassion and empathy  should be taught to modern day children.
There has been extensive research done  all over the world on its effect on young minds. The results beyond doubt has showed marked improvement in focus, Concentration, conflict resolution and emotional stability in all age groups. Most remarkable findings are improvement in their self esteem and decision making abilities.
Kids are less insecure and are more aware of their emotions.
Mindfulness gives them the freedom of choice to refuse or accept the situation which is best suited to them.Every child deserves the choice to choose his reaction before any conflict so he can respond with confidence.