Peer pressure, bullying, negative self-talk, sports, clubs, as well as, the demands of tests and schoolwork. Children and teens respond to stress in various ways. This may include low self-confidence, withdrawn, headaches, stomachaches, insomnia, depression, anorexia, substance abuse, and suicide. Teaching children and teens how to meditate and be mindful can give them the tools to effectively manage stress and better able to handle the challenges they deal with in their daily lives.
Long term effects of chronic stress during early childhood can be the most damaging to the brain. The brain is developing, growing and absorbing every experience. Also, the sensitivity to the stress hormones wreaks havoc. The chronic stress can negatively effect learning and memory. Helping our youth to learn resilience, optimism, and to soothe themselves during tough times prevents toxic stress from scarring them.
The inability to manage toxic stress in later childhood and adolescence can lead to problems with impulsivity, attention, and emotional control. These are the parts of the brain that are developing during this age. The sensitivity to the hormones can lead to long term negative effects on the brain. Because a teen's brain undergoes important transformations, meditation can lay the groundwork for a lifetime of improved resilience and focus. Benefits of meditation and mindfulness are especially important in an age when their attention spans are torn due to digital devices.