Meditation and Mindfulness have become increasingly popular practices to cultivate stability between our fast-moving life and overall well-being. Also, scientific studies show that Meditation helps to improve mental, emotional, and physical health.
If Meditation and Mindfulness can give us these many benefits, then why not we teach Meditation to children from school. If they have learned Meditation in the early stages of their lives, then life may become easy to tackle at their adult age.
New research in psychology suggests that teaching meditation in school positively affects students’ well-being, academic performance, and social interaction.
If Meditation is taught to every student, then in a few years, the scenario of our world may change completely. There is one quote saying, “If every 8 years old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” by Dalai Lama, a Buddhist monk.
I can very well relate to this quote because if I hadn’t found Meditation in the early days of my college, then may my life would be a complete mess. I sometimes think, if I got Meditation from school may my life would be more rejuvenated and balanced. But delay is better than never, so I’m fine.
In this article, we will discuss why Meditation and Mindfulness practices should be taught in schools and How Meditation could change students’ lives. Also, I will share few scientific evidences regarding the benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation and how these techniques could be practiced in school.
Why Meditation and Mindfulness should be taught in school?
Recent studies suggest that Meditation and Mindfulness help enhance cognitive capacity, creative thinking faculty, ability to concentrate, and self-awareness and leads to improved academic skills in students. Also, Meditation cultivates emotional and mental health in students, which may reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and provide better stability and balance in life.
If we taught Meditation from school, students can improve their faculties related to personal development and social interaction and be helpful for others in society.
One research suggests that students who were taught Meditation reported higher positive emotions (love, kindness, gratitude, etc.), high optimism, high self-acceptance, better self-care, and increased helpfulness for others compared to their peers who haven’t taught Meditation or Mindfulness.
Schools in San Francisco extended their school time by half an hour and practiced Meditation twice a day to students. This resulted in better improvement in grades and attendance, low suspensions, and overall happier and less aggressive behavior in kids.
From this, you can imagine how Meditation and Mindfulness are exceptionally beneficial practices for students and why they should be taught in schools.
Now, let’s see the benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness in students one by one, but remember, the following benefits of Meditation come from regular practice to students.
Related Post: Guided Meditation And Mindfulness For Kids
Benefits of Meditation In Student’s Career
Meditation and mindfulness help to:
1) Increase concentration and attention span
Concentration is the most required skill for students, but they are often distracted due to technology or situations around them. Everyone is ready to grab their attention in this modern world, so it’s tough to be focused, especially at a young age.
Here are some quotes regarding concentration, from which you can understand the value of a concentration.
Concentration is the root of every great ability in the man – Bruce Lee.
Concentration is the fine antidote to anxiety – Jack Nicklaus.
Concentration is the essence of all knowledge, nothing can be done without it – Swami Vivekananda.
One study found that kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) learned Meditation and practiced it regularly at home reported increased concentration at school including many other benefits. Also, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy showed improved cognition and reduced anxiety symptoms in kids who started out with high anxiety levels.
Thus, Meditation develops the ability to pay attention and lengthen the attention span in students so they can control distractions and study their curriculum with more focus.
2) Reduce mental stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety happen due to the constant repetition of same negative thoughts. Students are delicate and easily get trapped into this problem also, it’s difficult to review themselves out of this.
So, how to keep students out of mental turmoil is became a big concern for parents and teachers.
Regarding this problem, many scientific studies were conducted which show that Meditation and Mindfulness can be an antidote for stress-related problems.
One study found that Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction practice may reduce the anxiety symptoms in patients who were suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and improve stress reactivity and coping.
3) Reduce depression
Another big problem which students often face is depression. Depression due to study, exams, relationships, or disputes, may lead students to self-harming activities or cause mental illness.
Related Post: Meditation Helps Students During Exams
To cope with depression, Mindfulness could be a good exercise for students. It redirects the destructive thoughts and emotions to constructive ways and helps students to overcome depression. Also, Meditation improves mental clarity to find the cause and cure of depression.
“Meditation trains brian to achieve sustained focus, which returns your attention when depressive thought or feeling intrudes in mind,” says Dr. John W. Denninger, (Director of research at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital)
4) Enhance self-awareness
Self-awareness means awareness of body, thoughts, emotions, sensations, and the things around you.
When you are surrounded by stress, anxiety, depression, or a difficult situation, at that time, self-awareness gives mental clarity to find the root cause and solution of a problem.
When any negative thought arises in your mind, you can redirect or ignore it through the power of awareness.
Improved self-awareness may help students find better solutions to their problems and keep them away from mental illness.
5) Promote positive thought and emotions
Mindfulness eliminates not only destructive thoughts but also induces positive thoughts and feelings and increases students’ emotional intelligence.
Meditation or Mindfulness may enhance the emotional health of students and promote positive emotions such as love, kindness, gratitude, self-esteem, etc. these positive feelings alleviate negative attitudes from students, and they become better social beings.
One experiment suggests that Mindfulness may attenuate thoughts that emphasize negativity but not those that emphasize positivity. In this experiment, participants who practiced Meditation and Mindfulness while viewing negative images experienced less negative thoughts compare to those in the control group. However, in response to viewing positive images, results were the same in both groups.
6) Cultivate creative faculty
We believe that creativity is a god gift or someone born with creative ability, but scientific studies suggest that creativity can be cultivated through the regular practice of Meditation or Mindfulness.
You see, the technologies that reduce our physical work are the innovation of some genius people who had or have high creative faculty.
One study found that Focused attention and Mindfulness exert a specific effect on creativity and allows diverse thinking ability that generates many new ideas.
With the practice of Meditation, creative faculty can be developed in students from school age, so they can think creatively and do creative, this will help them in their academic career as well professional career.
7) Boost immunity
We know that children are not health conscious, so they eat unhealthy foods and may get sick due to unhealthy eating habits and low immunity.
Recent studies highlighted that Meditation and Mindfulness might improve our immune system. It increases the number of CD-24 cells, which function as a transmitter to give singles to other cells to destroy the infections. Also, Meditation helps to reduce the mark of inflammation and boost immunity.
Thus, practicing Meditation and Mindfulness from school could be beneficial for students to enhance their physical health along with other merits.
8) Improve sleep
Nearly half of the population (adults) struggling with the symptoms of insomnia or sleep-related problems.
If we teach Meditation and Mindfulness to kids, then it would be possible that they may not suffer from these types of problems at their adult age or easily cope with those problems in the future.
One study has shown that mindfulness-based treatment improves the symptoms in insomnia patients. And It was concluded that mindfulness-based therapy could provide an alternative to traditional treatments.
Sleep plays an important role in the development of one’s kid. With a proper rest kid cultivates mental and physical health.
Thus, Meditation can be a helpful tool to provide good sleep to our kids, so they could stay rejuvenated and be wonderful.
After explaining these many benefits of Meditation on our kids, I think Meditation and Mindfulness should be taught in every school.
If your school is not willing to take this business, then as a parent, you should take this charge to teach Meditation to your kids.
Actually, Meditation is a very simple practice. If you know how to meditate, then you should start teaching it to your kids; otherwise, follow this article till the end, and you will know many teaching techniques.
Here are some ways to teach Meditation and Mindfulness to students in school or at home.
Teach Meditation and Mindfulness to students
There could be so many ways to teach Meditation in school, but under this title, I have listed some easy and playful meditation and mindfulness techniques, especially for young students.
Mindful Barefoot Walking
It’s a simple walking exercise that could be performed without footwear on a playground or at any safe place.
Give the following instructions to students before starting this practice.
- Students, remove your shoes and keep them aside.
- One by one, slowly walk on the highlighted path.
- Keep your head down, keep your eyes on the pathway and observe the movement of your legs and feet.
- Pay attention to the sensations happening in your body.
- Sense the vibration and tension happening in your body when feet meet with the ground.
- Notice the systematic movement of your hand and legs, etc.
- In short, you should develop an awareness of your body while playing this game.
- Finally, the most important instruction, don’t talk with each other. Otherwise, you will be out from this mindful game.
These types of mindfulness practices work as a game for young students, and unknowingly, they practice Meditation as a playful activity.
For some young kids, sitting in Meditation without moving or making sounds may seem boring, so for them, this mindful barefoot walking is the perfect technique.
Guided Meditation is the simple practice of following guided instructions while meditating. It could be self-healing, positive affirmations, or mindful exercise instructions. Although, every meditation technique can be practiced as a guided form.
In this exercise, you can play the audio of guided Meditation in the classroom. Tell students to follow those instructions quietly.
Lying down body scan meditation
As the name suggests, let the students lay down on the floor and give instructions for body scanning.
Give the following instructions to students when they laid down
- Students, close your eyes and put your palm facing upward
- Release the tension from your body
- Please take a deep breath in, hold it, and out
- Repeat this 3 times, and when you breathe out mentally, imagine that you are releasing your body tension.
- Now move your attention toward your left foot and relax it.
- Then move your attention to the knee and relax it, then left leg, then right foot, knee, right leg, left hand, fingers, right hand, chest, neck, face, forehead, etc.
Thus, give these instructions in such a way that all body parts are covered in Meditation. After practicing this Meditation, students may feel relaxed, peaceful, and rejuvenated throughout the day.
5 minutes Mindful breathing
Mindful breathing is a famous mindfulness exercise to tame your mind.
Teach this breathing exercise to students in the classroom. Let them sit on their seats with their back straight, face slightly upward, and hands in a comfortable position.
Give them the following instructions:
- Close your eyes, and sit straight
- Slowly take 5-6 deep breaths
- Now follow the natural breathing process
- Notice the air comes in and out, feel the touch of air at the nostrils
- Observe your cheat and belly movement expanding and contracting
- Notice the sensations happening in your body
This way, you can practice mindfulness breathing practice. Do this for 10-15 minutes daily. So, students can feel relaxed and joyful.
As I said before, there are many other mindfulness and meditation practices that you can teach students in school or at home. (For more such techniques, read: Mindfulness Activities for the Classroom).
If there are so many benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness so why we shouldn’t teach it among young students? Why not in every school? Why not by every parent?
This one small step can make a big positive change in the future of our new generation, so why not?
I hope, I have delivered something valuable to you. Thanks for reading this article.