UW Health Pediatrician encourages mindfulness practices,

MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) — From pandemic schooling to social media use, kids are getting more stressed out.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is encouraging parents to try teaching techniques to kids to help manage that stress.

Those techniques include mindfulness exercises, meditation, or yoga.

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing awareness to the present moment and acknowledging thoughts and feelings.

It may seem like a lot to learn, but UW Pediatrician and Mental Health Expert Dr. Mala Mathur says there’s an easy place to start: breathing exercises.

“Being aware of your breathing is a wonderful way for kids to start to connect their mind with what their body is doing,” said Dr. Mathur.

Things like breathing exercises and yoga can help prevent physical and mental health challenges.

It can also improve mood, decrease anxiety, and alleviate depression.

Dr. Mathur encourages making this a daily exercise.

“Another really wonderful way to incorporate mindfulness, meditation, and yoga into your child’s routine is to start to make it part of the bedtime routine, and as a way to wind down,” said Dr. Mathur. “Oftentimes, that leads to a better quality of sleep and longer sleep for children.”

Experts also recommend looking for kid-friendly community classes to learn yoga and meditation techniques.

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