We hear a lot about the benefits of mindfulness—improved health, better relationships, straightened priorities, a new outlook on life—but mostly in the context of adults.
But children can practice mindfulness, too, and to great effect.
Learned mindfulness helps even very young children learn to focus and boost concentration, regulate emotions, manage stress and develop a kind of self-awareness that serves them for a lifetime. Through mindfulness, kids come to understand that they are capable of more than what they thought possible and overcome challenges which leads to daily confidence.
But it's not enough to tell kids they can do anything they set their minds to, they have to know how to set their minds.
A new animated Netflix original series from Saban Brands and Cirque de Soleil Junior will help them learn exactly that: "Luna Petunia." The groundbreaking series for preschoolers—which chronicles the adventures of a little girl named Luna Petunia who lives in the real world but plays in the fantastical land of Amazia, where toys come to life and amazing adventures can be found around every corner—launches Dec. 9 on Netflix.
As Luna or her friends come face-to-face with a challenges, young viewers see them stop, take a breath and believe that they can manage and figure a problem out. The show nurtures a sense of positive thinking and viewers are taught to believe that they can do what they set their minds to.
Today, kids face higher levels of stress at younger and younger ages, putting them at risk for developing both physical and mental health problems. By practicing mindfulness, kids develop skills for coping and communication. They also learn that struggling with problems—which can bring up powerful and negative emotions—is fine, maybe even fun, if they understand the feelings they have when they struggle and have developed methods for dealing with them.
Mindfulness practice benefits kids in other ways that adults have long understood for themselves: better sleep, longer focus and the ability to act compassionately and with empathy. And as Luna Petunia shows us, you're never too young to learn to be mindful. Mindfulness, like reading or riding a bike, is a useful skill that makes the rest of your life a more fun, rewarding and joyful place.