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Hypnotherapist Joseph Pond says children are better at living in the moment

Renowned hypnotherapist Joseph Pond on how mindfulness can make you healthier and happier

Throughout Northern Ireland, young people are taking the transfer test and stress is everywhere. I can’t tell you the number of parents over the years who have said to me, “You know, I try not to pressure my kids, but they pick it up anyway.”

So this article is for kids doing the transfer test, and their parents.

I practise meditation because it helps to focus my mind, improve concentration and deal with stress. All of these are valid reasons for you guys to begin practising mindfulness, and all offer indispensable benefits during this distressing exam period.

Additionally, it’s easy, free and fun, and causes no harm. It makes you feel better about yourself and improves sleep.

Most of the studies on the benefits of maintaining a regular mindfulness practice have been done on adults and there’s no reason to doubt that the effects will be very similar in 10 or 11-year-olds. Simply put, mindfulness makes you smarter.

For example, one study (Napoli, Krech & Holley, 2005) worked with hundreds of kids and concluded that mindfulness decreased test anxiety while improving concentration even among children who were diagnosed as having ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

So how can you get these same results? Well, I’ve written a number of articles for the Belfast Telegraph explaining that in greater detail and you can Google them to get started.  There are an unlimited number of guided meditations on YouTube that’ll help focus your mind and calm yourself.

I’ve recorded some myself that I’m happy to send you, and I’m conducting a workshop later this month. But you don’t need any of that to get started right now. For the next 10 minutes, sit quietly and do nothing. Pay attention to your breath; let yesterday and tomorrow drift away. Put a half smile on your face and be kind to yourself.

Clear your head with a mindful walk in nature and eat your food mindfully, savouring each bite.

The good news is that 11-year-olds are much better at living in the moment than most adults, so this is something that you are probably better at than your parents.

  • Joseph Pond is a clinical hypnotherapist, an acupuncturist, and a mindfulness instructor. He is co-founder of Hypnosis Explorers NI and sits on the National Board of NLP and Hypnotherapy. Reach him at

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