What is Executive Functioning?
Executive function is a term for the cognitive-based skills involving mental control and self-regulation. It involves working memory, perspective taking, decision making, emotional regulation, problem-solving, planning, and impulse control. Wow. Executive functioning is pretty important! So important, in fact that it provides the foundation for all educational and social activities. This means executive functioning is something your child needs to successfully navigate life.
When children are under stress it is harder for them to make wise decisions. Chronic stress impairs executive function, which can lead to problems with learning, memory impairment, and behavior issues. The good news is mindfulness and aerial yoga significantly reduce stress and enhance executive functioning. Way to go yoga and mindfulness!
How does Mindfulness Help?
Science has proved that with mindfulness, executive functioning is strengthened. A repeated mindfulness practice actually builds neural pathways in the brain. A consistent mindfulness practice changes neural pathways to neural superhighways, making it more accessible to children in times of stress bolstering their executive functioning.
Mindfulness and aerial yoga improve working memory (temporary storage and managing of information to carry out cognitive tasks). Research shows that mindfulness and aerial yoga teaches children to reflect before they react, which, in turn, reduces impulsive actions. Mindfulness and Aerial Yoga, the Mindful Child way, builds emotional intelligence (ability to notice and manage your own emotions). Once children are more aware of their emotions they are better able to regulate them. Mindful Child teaches mindfulness in a fun, play-based manner that kid loves.
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Van de Hurk, P.A.M., Giommi, F., Gielen, S.C., Speckens, A.E.M., & Barendregt, H.P. (2010). Greater efficiency in attentional processing related to mindfulness meditation. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63 (6), 1168
Tang, Y. Y., Ma, Y., Wang, J., Fan, Y., Feng, S., Lu, Q., . . . Posner, M. I. (2007). Short-term meditation training improves attention and self-regulation. PNAS Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104 (43), 1, 17152 -17156.