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The American Psychological Association (APA) defines resilience as “the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustment to external and internal demands.” Resilient children can bounce back from challenges, adapt to changes in their lives and navigate relationships effectively. Although resilient kids are not necessarily less stressed than other children, they are better able to deal with the stressors they face on a day-to-day basis and are also better prepared to face future challenges. Research has consistently shown that being mindful can help kids foster resilience.

Mindfulness Practices

The Oxford English Dictionary defines mindfulness as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations” without interpretation or judgment. Mindfulness is associated with a wide range of emotional, physical, and psychological benefits, all of which can directly and indirectly strengthen emotional resilience. Empirical evidence illuminates some of the reasons why mindful practices can help children foster resilience, such as:

  • One study concluded that “mindfulness enables cognitive and emotional awareness, diminishes emotional distraction and cognitive rigidity, and allows for intentional regulation of behavior, attention, and emotion.”  
  • Developmental neuroscientists assert that mindfulness allows for a cognitive and emotional rebalance, creating an opportunity for self-regulation, and enhanced resilience.
  • An article published by the Society for Research in Child Development explains that “mindful practices can stop dysregulation by interrupting perseveration on negative thoughts or behaviors, increasing tolerance of difficult emotional sensations, and promoting self-compassion and empathy.”
  • One study concluded that mindfulness practices are linked to augmented “changes in gray matter concentration in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking.”

The natural maturation process provides a young person with a plethora of opportunities to learn, implement and practice various coping mechanisms and life-skills that arm him or her with the needed tools to lead a successful, healthy, independent life. Integrating mindfulness practices can bolster a child’s resilience which ultimately improves mental health and enriches one’s quality of life.

Further Information and Support

For most of us, life can be very stressful, leading us to feel emotionally charged, which can cause anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and getting stuck in a cycle of being burdened with negative thoughts. Navigating through the challenges and emotional turmoil of life can be overwhelming, but you do not have to go through it alone. Engage Treatment is a Joint Commission Accredited professional psychological practice. We specialize in treating children, teens, and young adults struggling with depression and anxiety through community-focused treatment plans that incorporate a carefully selected combination of therapeutic interventions. Our compassionate, multidisciplinary practitioners are devoted to providing the highest quality of care that helps ignite positive change and enables clients to reach optimal health and well-being. Please do not hesitate to reach out for guidance. We are happy to answer questions and provide you with any additional information. Feel free to call us at 805-497-0605 or email us at [email protected]. You are also welcomed to get in touch by filling out our contact form. We look forward to connecting and having the opportunity to discuss how we might best be able to support you.

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