Why Nine Meditation Categories?
After researching several different methods of meditation, we found these nine categories creates a cohesive mindfulness umbrella.
Sleep– Intended to help kids relax, and feel safe and calm during their bedtime routine.
- We find this meditation to be a great introduction to mindfulness. Our bodies and minds are used to quieting down and being still during this time. Best when practiced after getting ready for bed and crawling under the sheets.
- The Zenimal™Kidz automatically shuts off after the guided meditation and 3 minutes of relaxing music is complete - no need to turn it off if your child falls asleep.
Relaxation– practice deep breathing and head-to-toe muscle relaxation (e.g., scrunch face and then relax).
- This meditation can be done anytime. It’s can also be a great tool to calm down from a big feeling or before an anticipated event.
Breath – filling/emptying a balloon, and sending soothing breath to wherever it’s needed most.
- Of course breathing is an involuntary function, but when done mindfully it can signal the central system to relax and ease up on fear, anxiety, and stress in the moment.
- This is one of our shortest meditations and can be done anywhere/anytime-- sitting, laying down, standing, or walking.
Creativity- imagine creating a work of art and giving it to someone.
- According to an article on mindful.org, meditation and mindfulness help the creative process by improving observational skills, increasing focus and awareness on the present moment, amplifying conceptual analyzation, and gaining acceptance through the elimination of judgment.
- These benefits are often a result of meditation’s ability to increase the thickness of the brain’s pre-frontal cortex which is responsible for most executive functions.
Stillness- imagine being a deeply rooted, strong and secure tree.
- This one is a great grounding meditation to incorporate into morning routines. It’s a wonderful way to start the day especially when there is an anticipated event happening later.
Warmth (Healing)- visualize sending healing light to wherever it’s needed most.
- We recommend this meditation for moments when an uncomfortable sensation or pain is felt anywhere in the body or mind. Identifying the location and sending positive thoughts and feelings to that area can ease the discomfort.
- This is useful when a child is ill, has a minor injury, or to help calm “butterflies” in the belly from being anxious or nervous.
Empathy- practice putting themselves in someone else’s shoes.
- Empathy can be a tough thing to teach, but this low-key practice can help build compassion and understanding of others.
Gratitude- find something big or small to be thankful for.
- The daily practice of being grateful has been shown to improve self-esteem, life satisfaction, connection with others, physical health, sleep, and empathy.
- This is a great option to use as a family before meals, in the morning, or at the end of a busy day.
Feelings- examine a feeling, including when or why it started without judement.
- When we asked a group of kids what a variety of “challenging” feelings felt like, so many said it makes them want to go away. Often we are taught to label feelings as good or bad, and that bad feelings should be extinguished as quickly as possible because they are unwelcome. This can leave a child feeling isolated or broken. Though these experiences may not feel great, it’s so important to recognize that all emotions make us a complete person; and thus, should be appreciated and accepted.
- We love the equation:
- Suffering = Pain x Resistance
- Anything multiplied by zero is zero. If we make the resistance of an emotion or experience zero then the suffering is eliminated. The pain remains, but in a much more manageable, unamplified state.