It is normal for children to experience anxiety, but we need to provide them with vocabulary and tools for coping with those feelings. One simple tool for calming anxious thoughts is meditation. And it isn’t just for adults!
Mallika Chopra is a wellness expert whose books for children explore safe and healthy ways for kids to express themselves, understand their feelings, and lead happier lives. Pulled straight from her guide for kids, these four breathing techniques here are designed to help kids with everyday struggles, like dealing with stress, relaxing, building confidence, focus, and relieving anxiety.
Each one takes less than a minute and can be practiced throughout the day. Think of these exercises as the building blocks of meditation; a starting-off point for kids to create their own mindful meditation practice.
It takes only a minute, and you can do it anywhere, anytime. All you need is a comfortable place to sit and the patience to gently follow your breath. It is one of the most powerful ways to relax; a little goes a very long way.
Blow the Butterflies Away
Anxiety can be an overwhelming and painful experience for kids and adults alike. This breathing exercise teaches kids to imagine their worries as butterflies, and visualize blowing them away. Once kids master the exercise, it’s a calming way to overcome nerves, fears, and worries of all kinds.
Step By Step
This exercise is a walking meditation designed to help kids slow down. By noticing how their bodies move on a very slow walk, kids can learn to unite their movements, breathing, and mind. When life feels like too much, it can help to remember that all we need to do is keep breathing and moving.
Four Breaths With Fingers
This is a soothing technique that combines the gentlest, simplest movements with focused breath. The goal is to help kids find their own way through moments of anger, frustration, and panic.
Illustrated by Brenna Vaughan
Foreword by Deepak Chopra, MD
For kids ages 8 to 12, this is an accessible and fun meditation and mindfulness how-to book filled with full-color illustrations, written by Mallika Chopra and with a foreword by Deepak Chopra.
Just Breathe is a fun and accessible, fully illustrated go-to meditation guide written by none other than Mallika Chopra, wellness expert and the daughter of Deepak Chopra. For kids ages 8 to 12, this book is full of specific exercises to help deal with day-to-day challenges and tips to lead a healthier, happier, and more connected life. The book includes practical advice on breathing techniques and guided meditations for a number of topics and scenarios, including:
- Dealing with stress
- Getting to sleep
- Building self-confidence
- Focusing on school/tests/other work
- Ridding oneself of anxiety
Beginners will learn the basics of meditation and how to get started, and those more experienced will learn how to improve their practice. This book will also teach kids how to prepare their own meditation spaces. Just Breathe is the go-to book for kids who want to learn more about mindfulness and meditation.