Mindfulness is a great tool that can be applied to almost anything with great success.
But what is mindfulness, and is there any real evidence that it can help with speech therapy?
In fact, there is. Our Austin speech therapy clinic uses quite successfully with our speech therapy clients.
Incorporating mindfulness into speech therapy can help with both children and adult speech therapy.
Let’s find out more.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on being aware of what you currently sense and feel without interpretation or judgment.
You can consider it to be a type of meditation, especially because practicing mindfulness often involves exercises that include breathing methods and guided imagery to help reduce stress.
An active mind jumping from thought to thought can be incredibly draining.
Even if it’s daydreaming, future planning, or problem solving.
This can also make you more likely to experience anxiety, stress, and symptoms of depression.
Mindfulness exercises redirect your attention away from this type of thinking, which then forces you to engage with your current environment.
This offers many great benefits to you as you’ll see below.
What Are The Benefits Of Mindfulness?
Mindfulness offers many benefits to those who consistently practice it.
Mainly, we’re talking about the reduction of symptoms associated with:
- High blood pressure
Mindfulness can be a tool to help you experience thoughts and emotions with balance and acceptance.
This balanced mindset that is the result of consistent mindfulness can also decrease job burnout, improve attention, and improve sleep.
How Can Mindfulness Help With Speech Therapy?
Mindfulness is a great tool for any activity, including speech therapy.
Specifically, mindfulness improves your attention and focus, and helps to decrease your emotional reactivity and impulsivity.
These benefits specifically have been shown to augment speech therapy and sustain the teachings of your speech therapist outside of the classroom where environmental stressors can present more of a challenge.
Now, let’s dive into the specifics of how mindfulness can help speech therapy in a variety of ways below.
1. Mindfulness For Aphasia
Speech therapy for aphasia involves improving receptive and expressive language often through traditional language approaches.
New theories focusing on improving the treatment of aphasia involve considering the whole cognitive picture that may affect auditory comprehension, not just linguistic factors.
Distractions that interfere with attention may negatively affect auditory comprehension in people with aphasia.
This is where the benefits of mindfulness come in.
By being present, mindfulness can help people focus in order to bridge the gap between attention and language, which can improve their results from speech therapy.
2. Mindfulness For Stuttering
Studies have found that mindfulness greatly improved the success rate for speech therapy treatments for stuttering.
Specifically, mindfulness reduced the impact of stuttering by reducing the frequency by which they stuttered.
This is because when you become anxious and focus your attention on your stutter, that focus can make your stutter grow more severe.
Mindfulness breaks the cycle of negative thought patterns, which puts distance between your emotions and your thoughts.
This allows you to focus on your present situation instead.
This simple change in focus can actually lessen the severity of your stutter, which is the end goal.
3. Mindfulness For Children With Autism
Practicing mindfulness, including practices such as deep breathing, body scans, and attention activities which bring focus to specific thoughts and emotions, is very beneficial for autism spectrum disorder speech therapy.
One case study found that these core exercises did improve executive functions such as controlling emotions, focusing attention, and being flexible enough to change your perspective.
Mindfulness teaches children to stop and breathe, which then reduces their impulsiveness and allows for better decision making.
4. Mindfulness For Children In General
The benefits seen in mindfulness for children with autism are mirrored when looking at mindfulness practices for neurotypical children.
This is because mindfulness teaches children how to be calm, which puts them in a better position to learn and respond to conditions and stressors in the world.
By remaining calm, they also can be more effective communicators.
This is especially pertinent for speech therapy for children, because they are able to better focus their attention to the lesson at hand and grow their receptive vocabulary and understanding.
5. Mindfulness For Stroke Recovery
Stroke recovery is a big challenge at the best of times.
But imagine having to fight your mind in order to stay motivated and calm while your emotions rage because you think you’ve hit a recovery plateau.
This is understandable when recovering from a stroke because having an impaired arm or leg can make everyday tasks much more difficult.
This is where mindfulness becomes very useful.
By learning how to stay present and engage with your environment, you can focus on your recovery with a more positive mindset.
Some other benefits of mindfulness for stroke recovery include:
- Reduction of depression, tiredness, and fatigue
- Improvement of balance, attention, and emotion regulation
- Growth in the grey matter of your brain
Mindfulness is a great tool to help you become more present, especially if you are struggling with coming to terms with your new normal, so that you can continue to work towards recovery.
Book Your Appointment With Sol Speech & Language Therapy Today
As you can see, mindfulness benefits everyone who consistently uses it.
It can augment any type of therapy, especially speech therapy.
And it is a holistic technique we happily incorporate into therapy sessions, when needed.
Book an appointment today with Sol Speech and Language Therapy to get started and speak to one of our experienced speech therapists.
We look forward to mindfully working with you to reach your speech therapy goals.
Book your appointment with Sol Speech & Language Therapy today.
If you’re ready to take the next step, reach out today for a free phone consultation.Sol Speech & Language Therapy
6448 E Hwy 290 Suite E-106,
Austin, TX 78723
Sol Speech & Language Therapy is located in sunny Austin, Texas and offers personalized skilled intervention to those struggling with their speech and language skills. Services offered include screening, consultation, and comprehensive evaluation. We also provide one-on-one and/or group therapy for speech sound disorders, receptive/expressive language delay/disorder, stuttering/cluttering, accent reduction, and much more.