“Just Breathe” – Cute Kids Practice Mindfulness

An adorable short piece by Julie Bayer Salzman and Josh Salzman, in which young children talk about how it feels to experience anger and frustration. I think it’s a great idea to encourage kids to be curious about their emotions, invite them to share their internal experience, talk about the physical manifestations of emotion and give them a practice to deal with the emotion, which is attention to breath. Even though their language is simple, the experience is powerfully relatable; we all experience basic emotion in the same way.

Being able to allow some distance between oneself and one’s emotions is not an easy feat. It requires a lot of attention and control, and many people become overwhelmed or controlled by their emotions. I mean, who hasn’t done something they regret because they were upset? That’s why I’m really glad to see that we’re beginning give children these tools at an early age. It confuses me that many of us adults never grew up being taught the ways we can manage our emotional inner life.

Also, it’s so cute when they describe the amygdala (responsible for fear, aggression, anger) and the pre-frontal cortex (responsible for reason, judgement and attention). Practicing mindfulness, through paying attention to breath, can strengthen the PFC and allows it to slow amygdala activity. That’s one of the cool benefits of mindfulness training! Imagine, if children, whose brains are wiring like crazy at this age, are regularly practicing this skill, how much better emotionally equipped they’d be as adults! Amazing. I loved watching this and especially recommend this videos to parents, caregivers of children, teachers and those who practice mindfulness.



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