Headspace, the brilliant app encouraging a little time each day to take you to an inner calm, are now focusing their efforts on youngsters and teaching them how they can be the mindful grown-ups of the future. Co-Founder Andy Puddicombe fills us in on why he chose this new audience…
The Grown-ups version for headspace has been around for six years now…what made you move onto little ones? Parents have seen the benefits of Headspace in their own lives and would like to be able to pass those on to their children. So much is expected of kids now, there is so much more pressure, and the world of digital chatter has just added yet another layer to life. So it’s no surprise that so many young people are suffering from mental health issues. But it doesn’t have to be this way. By introducing Headspace for Kids we want to provide young people with the skills they need to live a healthy and happy life.
Talk us through the kids version…. The app features five different themes; calm, kindness, focus, sleep and waking up. The idea of these sessions is to create a strong foundation, where looking after the health of the mind becomes part of the everyday routine. The content is split into three age categories: 5 and under, 6-8 and 9-12. All age groups have multiple durations to choose from, starting at 1 minute for younger children, all the way to 10 minutes for older age groups. As for often, my message is simple: focus on frequency over duration, start small and build it up, but the more consistently you do it, the more likely you are to experience the benefits.
Finally – if you could convince a large chunk of the world’s children to participate in mindfulness – how do you think this could positively affect our future world leaders? There’s a quote from the Dalai Lama, where he says that if every child under the age of eight meditated, in the future there would be no war. I’m not sure I’d go quite as far as that (as much as I’d like to of course) but I do think that the only way to outer peace is through inner peace. If we can train to be authentic in the way that we live when young, to value the qualities of kindness and compassion, to train the mind in calm, clarity and contentment, then anything is possible. Meditation is life changing, not only for ourselves, but also for the world around us.