Meditation is the ability to let go of the thoughts and stresses of everyday life and live in the now. Children with bipolar disorder and other mental illness can greatly benefit from meditation. While meditation can be difficult at first for a child with bipolar disorder, with practice they can master meditation. All it takes is some practice and persistence.
Tips for meditation in children with bipolar disorder: These tips are for bipolar kids and teens:
- The child with bipolar disorder will need to find a quiet place. This location should be somewhere that the child will not be disrupted. This means that they should remove themselves from areas where there are other people, TV and other background noises. It is often helpful if you discuss with your bipolar child where the perfect spot would be.
- Sit in a comfortable seat. This could include a chair, a cushion on the floor, the grass or even the floor. Be sure that the child’s back is aligned and that they maintain proper posture.
- The child should then rest their hands on their lap or their hips. The important thing is to be as comfortable as possible. If they are uncomfortable there is no way that they will stay and gain the benefits of meditation.
- Remain still. This will be hard for any child, let alone a child with a mental illness such as bipolar disorder. Have your bipolar child close their eyes or lower their gaze to their nose until it goes out of focus. If they struggle just remind them to try again. Do not allow your child to become frustrated. Encourage them to try again and again. Meditation is something that takes practice for adults and children as well.
- The child should focus on their surroundings and breathing. Tell them to feel the air on their face while deep breathing. Have them listen to their breathe as it goes in and out. Encourage your bipolar kid to notice how they feel.
- Clear your mind of all thoughts. This will be difficult but improves with practice. Have your child put their thoughts in their place and let them go. Some psychologists suggest giving your child a visual to go with this. Tell them to place all of their thoughts into a suitcase or box. This will take your bipolar kid a while to master. Many adults have trouble with this step. This is why it is safe to assume that your child will also have a difficult time with it.
It is important that you understand that there are many different ways to meditate. The Mayo Clinic offers various tips on how to meditate. The National Institute of Mental Health states that meditation can help quell anxiety. There may also be meditation classes in your area offered for children with bipolar disorder. No matter where your child is meditating it is an important skill for anyone with bipolar disorder to learn. It affords them the ability to self calm when necessary.
- Did The FDA Drink the Child Bipolar Kool-Aid? (psychologytoday.com)
- Brain similarities are found in cases of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia (manicmuses.wordpress.com)