Tech-Tip Friday – Are you kids feeling anxious? Try this app

Jun 05, 2015 Categories: Changing_Times, Tech-Tip-Friday

Happy end of the week! It’s been a big one for me with the release of my new ebook ‘Super Simple Cyber-Safety’. It’s been really well received and so exciting! To get your copy, sign up to the blog here  and I’ll send through your **free** copy!

Back to today’s post!  I’m sharing a great app that I love to use for myself and for kids in my class. It’s a free app with guided meditations – don’t worry it not at all woo-woo but it can help our kids (and us) focus more and stress less. Win-win!

In schools we are seeing more and more students that are having a bit of trouble coping, and we seem to be getting more and more student diagnoses of anxiety, whether from professionals or from parents. It is a busy world our kids live in and sometimes I think we can forget that they are only young – and still learning how the world works.

Available for iPhone and Android

One way we can help our kids cope with all the pressures of growing up in such a busy, always-on world is through mindfulness mediation.

I was put onto mindfulness techniques buy a educational psychologist a few years ago now and have used it with students from age 5 to 17 as a way to focus in on learning and to cope better with demands of study/play/sports/work/family/friends/relationships….

Basically this app – Smiling Mind – contains mini mindfulness meditation sessions for kids and adults.

Mindfulness meditation focuses you in on the present moment, through breathing and thinking exercises. Focusing on the present can help us reduce our stress about what might happen or what has happened (things we often can’t change anyway).

In recent years, Mindfulness Meditation has surged in popularity for use in the treatment of stress, resilience, anxiety, depression and other physical and mental illnesses. Highly regarded institutions such as UCLA, Harvard, Oxford, Monash and Melbourne Universities have developed clinical studies into the positive impacts of Mindfulness Meditation. – See more at: http://smilingmind.com.au/blog/#!/category/background/what-is-smiling-mind

smiling mind app

The app is free and easy to use. Simply install Smiling Mind on your smartphone or tablet and plug in some headphones (or play through speakers or in the car). The meditations are short (most are under 5 minutes) and are led by a calm voice that gives clear instructions on guiding your focus to yourself and the present moment.

You and your kids can do these short mindfulness activities in the car, on the train or at home. While in an ideal world you would be in a quiet, calm space with no interruptions, that’s often not possible. I use the app on the train and love it – despite the noise and lots of people crowded in. Some meditation is always better than none, and I wouldn’t get my meditation in daily otherwise.

The app was designed for kids initially and the meditations are set up in categories based on age groups (but there’s also an ‘adult’ category for us too). I’ve found that doing these short meditations with younger kids keeps them on track while older kids can manage by themselves after the first one or two sessions. Try and make meditation a daily habit to see benefits, although any is better than none!

If you or your kid are feeling under the pump, I highly recommend the Smiling Mind app. Read more about it here  (it’s run by psychologists in Australia and funded by a number of big name organisations).

Give it a go and don’t forget to share how you went here! BTW – this post is not sponsored at all, I just love the app and want to share!

 

 

 

 

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