March 11

Help children reduce stress with labyrinths

Labyrinths have been used in history for private or group meditation. People would walk slowly and mindfully around the labyrinth which helped concentration, focus and productivity. There has been research conducted at Harvard Mind and Body medical institute (Dr Herbert Benson) that has proved that mindful walking can help reduce anxiety and stress. Finger and small labyrinths are now popular and tracing a finger around the labyrinth can bring the same calming qualities. Here is a simple guide to drawing a labyrinth. Children can practice drawing their labyrinth on pieces of paper. Just drawing them will help develop focus and concentration. They could also draw labyrinths on large stones or tiles or even wood. Once created, children can quietly trace their finger around their mini finger labyrinth. This is excellent for helping them develop relaxation especially for children who need to DO something. If you have space in your home or school garden, you may like to create a large walking labyrinth for children to practice their mindful walking to improve concentration, manage stress and cope with work loads. Use rope or string to map out the labyrinth on the grass. Some people make them more permanent by mowing the grass in between the ropes or using paint. If you have a sand pit, you could use a stick to draw the labyrinth or use chalk on pavement. Be mindful, Be relaxed, Be calm

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