There is a silent tragedy that is unfolding day by day in our homes and in our schools. Children are in a high stress, high anxiety emotional state! In the last 15 years, researchers have provided us with alarming statistics that reveal a sharp and steady increase in childhood mental illness that is now reaching epidemic proportions! We all need to take steps to ensure that we are being kind to ourselves, to our kids, to our friends and to the youth in our communities. Being kind means being sensitive to their mental state.
Today, there is a growing interest in mindfulness as a result of increased stress, anxiety, loneliness and feelings of isolation. Mindfulness is the awareness that arises when paying attention to the present moment, without judgment. When you are mindful, you notice what is happening — as it is happens to you and to others around you. When you are mindful, you are creating a reaction or response that is considerate to the situation in front of you. Mindfulness is seeing things more clearly, breathing calmly and looking closely to what is taking place within you, your mind and others. The new breakthroughs in neuroscience show that by practicing mindfulness, the brain can be shaped for higher happiness, love, wisdom, kindness and greater emotional balance in stressful and uneasy times. You are more susceptible to foster healthier relationships in all areas of your life when you practise mindfulness through daily meditation.
Celebrated Canadian Film Director, Artist and Innovator Director X (now returning to his birthname as Julien Christian Lutz) was at our #TorontoKindDay Proclamation event in Toronto on November 13th, 2019 sharing details about his work with his Co-Founders of Operation Prefrontal Cortex (Op-PFC). He very articulately reveals empirical, science backed evidence that Mindfulness meditation can reduce the brain's gray matter which is so very important in healthy brain functionality. Operation Prefrontal Cortex is partnering with Mindfulness Everyday to develop a program for independent schools throughout Toronto that integrates meditation into the classroom while teaching educators the skills and techniques through experiential learning and practice to embody the qualities that we would like to see in our children and youth. Our youth is at risk for increased stress, anxiety, anger and possible violence. Director X and his wonderful team are implementing meditation where it is needed the most.
Bringing meditation practices into schools is critical and that's a large part of Operation Prefrontal Cortex's mission. By implementing a mindfulness and meditation program for students and teachers to boost learning and decrease stress in the classroom. Attending school is one of the most critical times in an individual's life. So many traits, skills, habits and coping mechanisms are developed while attending school. This is the place where we learn, where we make social connections, where we develop our identity, form friendships and even lose friendships too. It is the place where we experience a variety of different emotions and behaviours. When you introduce meditation into your child's lifestyle, more creative possibilities open up; new ways of being with life’s challenges can present themselves in a refreshing light. Mindfulness and meditation can begin to change your life and improve the way you think and the way you feel. We all want our children to live healthy and happy lives, we want our children to be kind and bright! Teaching kids how to meditate will allow your child to have better self-control and awareness for others around them. In the end, it helps them contribute to healthier, kinder communities and cities.
Neuroscience concludes that Meditation adds volume and thickness to the prefrontal cortex (the region of planning complex cognitive behaviour, personality expression, decision making, and moderating social behaviour), and hippocampus (the region governing memory & learning), shrinking the amygdala (the region that controls emotional processing). The effects of childhood Meditation go beyond academics; it shapes our children's minds to be kind and kinder minds create a kinder world #bekindtoyourmind
Be kind to yourself and to others