02 Dec TM for Kids
Most people know David Lynch from his television show Twin Peaks, and films like Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive. However, quietly, over the years, he has also been an advocate, promoting Transcendental Meditation in schools, and among the homeless, veterans, and low-income families. According to Smithsonian Magazine1, Lynch began incorporating meditation in his own life to deal with depression and anger. Eventually, he started a foundation that funds meditation for children around the world.
As Smithsonian magazine describes it, Transcendental Meditation “is different from mindfulness, an umbrella term that can describe anything from breathing to guided visualization to drawing exercises. People who learn TM … are given a mantra, or sound, and a specific technique for using it. You repeat the mantra and, if all goes well, your mind settles down into a deep, expansive silence.” As with mindfulness, TM helps you focus on the moment, making it a natural stress reliever for today’s overscheduled, stressed-out kids. David Lynch’s program for children is called Quiet Time and it seems to be working. The University of Chicago looked at the program and discovered it lowered violence and made children happier everywhere from New York to San Francisco to Los Angeles.
Research is promising on the effect TM has in adults. “Studies on adults have linked TM practice with reduced stress-related problems such as strokes, heart attacks and high blood pressure,” the Smithsonian magazine says. A few years back, a study showed TM helped with kids who have ADHD and assisting with brain function as a whole2. Mindfulness, we know, may help kids with math3, in addition to possibly lowering stress and relieving depression4. Yoga may also make kids with ADHD more attentive5. So it makes sense that more and more schools6 and other places like wellness centers and spas, are catching on to the potential benefits.
As you can imagine, I’m all in favor of this trend and happy David Lynch is behind this movement. Meditation cost nothing or very little, has no side effects, and has the potential to make our kids less stressed, smarter and happier. If your child’s school has a meditation, yoga or mindfulness program, sign them up! If not, see what you can do to get one going. In the years to come, these programs will likely become even more popular and I believe the change will be reflected in a new generation of well-adjusted kids.
If you are local to Bergen County, sign your children up for yoga and mindfulness at the L’ifestyle Lounge in Closter, NJ. Email Laura@LauraCipullo for class schedule.
And check out my recent appearance on ABC, talking about mindfulness and yoga for children.
1Rothenberg Gritz. (2016). Director David Lynch wants schools to teach Transcendental Meditation to reduce stress. Smithsonian Magazine.
5Roeder, Jessica. Yoga therapy and children with ADHD. (2011). College of Medicine, University of Vermont.
Schools are now teaching kids — and their parents — how to deal with stress. The Washington Post.
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