The fact that mindfulness and meditation in schools is finally showing popularity is an extremely welcome and positive sign.
Those who make meditation a part of their daily lives know how beneficial it is to physical, emotional, and mental health as well as spiritual connection and grounding.
Let’s spend a moment of reflection on just a few of the proven benefits of meditation, regardless of age:
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Reduces stress levels (yes, children do feel stressed at times).
- Reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Improves learning capabilities.
- Enhances confidence and creativity.
Meditation has also shown signs of decreasing conflicts among students, improve test scores and overall grades, brings forward new interest and enables them to cope with stress much more easily.
For adolescents, school can be a very stressful experience, with worries about peer pressure, studying, future decisions, and family issues. Meditation in schools or indeed at home provides students with an opportunity to give contemplation to their concerns and clear their mind of any thoughts causing tension. In doing this, they are able to focus more on the tasks at hand and absorb more information.
An elementary school in Baltimore has been practicing meditation and yoga instead of traditional punishments since 2016. Listen to what they’ve observed:
Daily meditation in schools has shown positive results in improving the capabilities of students with ADHD (ADHD is a hyperactivity disorder that can affect a child’s ability to learn effectively) to function in the normal environment. They settle into lessons more easily, interact with peers more calmly, and show more respect for figures of authority. The effects of which spill over into all areas of their lives, resulting in better sleep and concentration levels.
There are many techniques that can be used for meditation in schools:
- Guided meditation is fantastic to help students prepare for an examination.
- Imagery and visualizations can also be used as an aid to help educate youngsters about a difficult topic.
- Mantra meditation has surprisingly been the one to show the most positive affect on students across the board. Although it may sound like something only gurus and hippies would do, it is actually a sound method used to lower brain wave levels and improve learning capabilities. It is simple, and involves the teacher learning to instruct the students through a basic chanting session. Some teachers prefer to play an audio meditation CD, which is easier if they are uncomfortable leading the chant themselves.
Scientists have proven to us that meditation increases the thickness of the brain cortex in areas that deal with sensory processing and attention.
So for any teachers out there… this truly makes it a dream come true for you. Although introducing the idea to the classroom may at first make you feel uncomfortable, a calm and relaxed class means a better day at work for you. Of course it also feels good when your class tops the exam results too ;).
Another reason for teachers to include mindfulness and meditation in schools is to offer the students an invaluable tool for life, not just in school…
The art of being able to achieve deep relaxation and relieve yourself of stress.
For teachers who have never experienced meditation personally, please give it a try!
Once you see first hand how blissful it is to allow your conscious mind to step aside and access the depths of the subconscious, all while your body is totally relaxed, you will feel passionate and driven to teach it to the youngsters in your care.
People who meditate daily have the ability to clear their mind of worry and stressful thoughts. This is an essential skill for healing and rejuvenation on a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual level.
By introducing meditation in schools you will be giving students that extra edge for success that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.