Children and adolescents encounter stress at home and at school—just as adults do in jobs and relationships. Many professionals believe we’re seeing an epidemic of adolescent depression, driven by stress, with the average onset of depression appearing as early as age fourteen.
Stress not only interferes with learning but also places young people at increased vulnerability to drugs or alcohol. Research shows that the Transcendental Meditation technique is a powerful stress buster.
Easy meditation for children
The Transcendental Meditation technique is easy for children to practice because it does not require focus or concentration, and children can practice it without having to sit perfectly still. Even children with symptoms of ADHD can practice this meditation successfully.
Because the TM program is validated by hundreds of scientific research studies, parents and educators can feel confident that the program is safe and reliable. It’s well established that the TM program can help children cope with stress and improve learning ability and behavior. Over 150,000 school children around the world have learned the TM technique in the past three years alone, and the program has been successfully used in the classroom for 40 years.
Adolescent who learned TM, compared to control, showed decreased absenteeism, school rule infractions, and suspension days.
Meditation and the brain
Daily practice of the TM technique produces a healthy state of coherence and balance throughout the brain, with increased activation of the pre-frontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for discrimination and higher reasoning. This type of more orderly brain functioning is not found while a child is studying, playing, watching TV or listening to music; nor does this balanced, holistic brain functioning come about through other types of relaxation or meditation exercises, such as mindfulness, watching the breath, visualizing, or guided imagination.
Everything good about your child’s brain depends on coherent and orderly brain functioning which is associated with sharper focus and comprehension, improved learning ability, heightened intelligence and creativity and better moral reasoning.
Practice of the TM technique for 10 minutes twice daily provides natural relief from stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue. Reducing stress and increasing inner happiness improves a child’s flexibility, social abilities and self-esteem.
The Transcendental Meditation technique is a valuable tool for a child as she matures, preparing her to meet the stresses and challenges of adolescence and adulthood.
At what age can a child learn to meditate?
Because very young children are still integrating their inner world with the outer world around them, they need a meditation practice that does not require them to sit still or that inhibits their natural inclination to know and discover.
What is the best time in a child’s development to sit and practice eyes-closed meditation?
Ten years of age or older
Starting with about ten minutes morning and afternoon, children ten and older find the sit-down, eyes-closed practice of the TM technique effortless and enjoyable, something they can do on their own or with meditating friends or family members.
Children under 10
Young children, five through nine, can learn a form of TM appropriate for the developmental stages of early childhood, the “Maharishi Word of Wisdom” technique. This practice strengthens the mind and helps stabilize the emotions of the young child—nourishing her inner being in a gentle, holistic way. The technique is practiced a few minutes each day with eyes open, while the child is quietly engaged in easy, natural activities such as walking or coloring. The child grows in stability and joy in relation to the outer world.
“Since I started TM, life has gotten a lot easier.CECELIA
I think more clearly and I don’t rush into things.
Plus, my grades have gone up.”