Using Mindfulness to Support Children with Anxiety
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Anxiety can adversely affect the education of elementary students. This past year, anxiety has risen to new heights among students, parents, and teachers because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This capstone examines the detrimental effects which anxiety can have on elementary school children. The literature review portion examines research undertaken in the past 10 years in how mindfulness breathing practices as well as art therapy activities such as colouring and drawing mandalas have shown promise in decreasing anxiety. Research into these areas is considered to be emerging, and researchers implore future studies to investigate a larger, more diverse population that is free of bias and use randomly-controlled trials. Teachers and counsellors can have a positive impact on their students’ mental health by teaching mindfulness breathing techniques and colouring techniques to one student at a time, or whole classrooms. As the world struggles with the effects which the COVID pandemic has had on mental health due to loneliness, changed routines, and the fear of COVID, mindfulness and colouring represent easy, low-cost techniques which show promise in decreasing stress and anxiety.