Studies into the brains of chronically traumatized children reveal that although there can be crippling side-effects, there is also hope for healing with mindfulness practice.
Childhood trauma has been linked to smaller brain size, diminished IQ, anti-social behavior, aggression and emotional numbness. “Trauma is the residue of what those experiences leave in your body,” says Bessel van der Kolk, the president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. “People’s brains change because of trauma.”
Yet recent studies show that mindfulness practice helps children connect with positive emotional and social experiences, often things that a traumatized brain struggles to do. These practices stimulate the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain linked to reflective awareness.
This recent study is one of a growing number of studies into the practice of mindfulness for children living with trauma. Many have offered promising results. Learn more about the study here.
Here’s an example of a body scan for kids: